Summer

Kids Helping Kids

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 26, 2019

Meet Honored Kids Who Engage with St. Baldrick’s

It’s likely that your first exposure to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation was through a head-shaving event. (After all, the original idea was to get a bunch of executives together to shave their heads around St. Patrick’s Day, raising money for pediatric cancer research.) While head-shaving events remain the foundation’s main form of fundraising, they are just one of many ways to get involved.

Before we look at how a few Honored Kids and their families are making an impact on childhood cancer research through St. Baldrick’s, we should first define the term. An “Honored Kid” is any child, adolescent, or young adult (AYA) who has faced a cancer diagnosis; the more than 5,800 Honored Kids featured on our website bring hope and inspiration to volunteers and supporters of St. Baldrick’s. Once registered as an Honored Kid, each child receives their own page on the website to tell their story. Now, time to be inspired by some remarkable Honored Kids.

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News

Your Donations Make Research Possible – and That Research is Shared Worldwide

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Mission Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 14, 2019

Most St. Baldrick’s Foundation supporters know they are making hundreds of childhood cancer research projects possible. They may not realize the research they supported has been published in more than 1,350 research publications since 2005.

We’ll touch on just a few of those here. But first, why are publications important and how do they help find cures for childhood cancer? The answer started long ago.

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News

St. Baldrick’s Partners with American Cancer Society for ‘Cancer Doesn’t Care’ Campaign

by Kathleen Ruddy, Chief Executive Officer
August 12, 2019

One of the most vexing problems in pediatric cancer research is trying to find out why certain treatments work for some kids and not for others, or why some kids suffer more health consequences from the same treatment that others do not.

If you’re dealing with something concrete – like plumbing issues in your home, or a car that has suddenly stopped working – it’s usually a trial and error process that will tell you why. Why does the faucet leak? The pipe wasn’t properly tightened. Why did the timing belt go out on the car? Well, those things are only good for so many miles.

Pediatric cancers are much less concrete, and way more complex than plumbing or maintaining a car. And, given the life and death nature of pediatric cancer diagnoses, it’s of vital importance to ask the right questions and get the right answers.

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Facts

St. Baldrick’s Researcher Champions the Battle Against Osteosarcoma

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Mission Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 30, 2019

July is Sarcoma Month, and since this is a disease that so often strikes children, teens and young adults, St. Baldrick’s supports a great deal of sarcoma research.  

Only about 1% of cancers diagnosed in adults are sarcomas, but they make up 20-25% of cancers between the age of 10 and 20. The most common are osteosarcoma (bone tumors), Ewing sarcoma (bone or soft tissue tumors) and rhabdomyosarcoma (muscle tumors).

Dr. Alejandro Sweet-Cordero is one of many St. Baldrick’s grant recipients tackling sarcomas, and his funding was made possible by our donors in a unique way.

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Childhood Cancer

St. Baldrick’s Grants Showcase Breadth of Pediatric Cancer Research

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 23, 2019

When the St. Baldrick’s Foundation announced its latest grant recipients today – via a press release that you can see here: Press Release – we were pleased to report that more than $17 million was awarded to a total of 55 recipients.

To put that into perspective, we award $27 million toward grants and advocacy efforts this year, so this represents the largest of our funding cycles during the year. (A complete list of the institutions that were awarded grants can be found at the end of this blog post. )

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Teens & Young Adults

Fear: The Realities of Life During Cancer Treatment

by Jake Teitelbaum
July 9, 2019

Editor’s Note: We’ve let Jake, the founder of Resilience Gives, tell us his experience of dealing with uncertainty during treatment.

Jake during treatment

After a few hours of watching carboplatin steadily drip into my bloodstream, I was relieved when my friend Alex poked her head around the corner of the oversized hospital room door. It was day three of my first inpatient stay since beginning my medical leave of absence, and Alex was the first non-family visitor. When she placed her hand beneath the Purell dispenser, I could see a game tucked underneath her arm.

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Do What You Want

Summer Fundraiser Ideas: 9 Ways To Make A Difference For Kids With Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 3, 2019

School is out, pools are open, and grills are fired up. Whether you want to make the most of the warm weather or you’re just looking for a way to get the kids involved, make this summer count by raising money to fund research that helps kids with cancer. Here are nine ideas to get you started.

1. Sports Challenge: Take advantage of the summer weather and organize an outdoor tournament with a suggested donation for entering. Take it to the sand for a game of beach volleyball or the park for some of our Summertime favorites like soccer, football, even frisbee golf.

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Childhood Cancer

Brooke Survives Cancer, Graduates Stanford – But Not Without A Lifetime’s Worth of Challenges

by Brooke Vittimberga
June 17, 2019

Editor’s Note: Brooke is an Ambassador and Honored Kid who just graduated from Stanford University. As Cancer Survivors Month continues on the St. Baldrick’s Blog, we’re letting her tell the story of how she got to this day in her own words.

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, my friends were finishing up their first week of junior year at Stanford. I was lying in a hospital bed, watching as my brother’s stem cells were infused into my body, replacing the bone marrow that had turned against me.

On Friday, September 25, my friends celebrated their first weekend back together at school. I had a grand mal seizure.

When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at the end of my sophomore year of college, I knew that I was going to have a very different college experience from my peers. I had no idea how different it would be.

I had the impression that I would either die or I would live and return to my previous life. I had a high-risk form of leukemia that did not respond to my first round of chemotherapy, and at first it seemed that the death option was more likely.

But when I got into remission on a salvage round of chemotherapy and proceeded to my bone marrow transplant, I was hopeful that a return to “normal life” was possible.

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Advocacy

Happy Anniversary, Childhood Cancer STAR Act! Signed into Law One Year Ago Today

by Danielle Leach
June 5, 2019

The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act – the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill in history – was signed into law one year ago today!

2013 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador Matthias advocating on Capitol Hill

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Real-Life Stories

Survivorship: A Lifelong Journey

by Becky Chapman Weaver, Chief Mission Officer
May 31, 2019

Sunday, June 2 is National Cancer Survivors Day, and we at St. Baldrick’s have dubbed the entire month of June “Cancer Survivors Month.” Our focus for the month ahead will be to bring awareness to the fact that surviving childhood cancers is just the first step in a lifelong journey for many survivors.

A series of four copy-based statistic windows show the following important stats: first, that by the time they're 50, 99% of childhood cancer survivors will have had a chronic health problem other than cancer. Second, that in the U.S. there are 420,000 survivors of childhood cancer. Third, that by age 50, childhood cancer survivors will have faced an average of 17 adverse health effects from their cancer diagnosis. Finally, donors have helped fund more than 140 grants totaling over $19 million to improve survivorship outcomes.

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