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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Advocacy

The Mommas Mean Business – And Ten Years Later, They’re Still Raising Money for Pediatric Cancer Research

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 23, 2019

Editor’s Note: We’re delighted to give the floor to Rebekah, who is our guest blogger and a leader of the 46 Mommas. In this blog post, she shares what she has learned about helping kids with cancer, and keeping her own sisterhood strong.

A collage showing 9 group photos of the 46 Mommas group.

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Advocacy

Childhood Cancer Action Days 2019: Scott and Nancy Head to Washington

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 16, 2019

The Alliance for Childhood Cancer Action Days in Washington, D.C., is an opportunity for members of the childhood cancer community – from kids and their families to health care professionals and volunteers – to advocate for childhood cancer issues before Congress.

St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid, Scott, a 10-year-old whose cancer is in remission, attended Action Days with his mom Nancy and has provided us with the following report on his experiences in Washington.

Collage showing Scott and other childhood cancer advocates in Washington, D.C.
Scott (left) attended Childhood Cancer Action Days in Washington, D.C., in late March.

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Advocacy

St. Baldrick’s Advocacy Highlights of 2018

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 14, 2018

The St. Baldrick’s Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer advocates played an instrumental role in facilitating monumental legislative achievements for kids with cancer in 2018.

Collage of images showing St. Baldrick's advocacy efforts in 2018.

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Advocacy

St. Baldrick’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts That Give Kids Hope!

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 20, 2018

The holiday season is about giving – and what better gift for your loved ones than something that helps a great cause, like taking childhood back from cancer. Not only are the items below awesome gift ideas, but a portion of each sale goes to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

That means every item sold helps fund lifesaving research and clinical trials that can find new and better treatments for kids with cancer.

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Advocacy

Teen Saved by Science Speaks Up for Kids’ Cancer Research

by Zach Swart
July 3, 2018

Back in April, Ambassador Zach was finally healthy enough after his bone marrow transplant to go out in public. What did he decide to do after that momentous milestone? He joined the hundreds of advocates speaking up for kids’ cancer research on Capitol Hill during Childhood Cancer Action Days. Here’s his recap of that trip and the big moments that have come since …

Ambassador Zach on Capitol Hill

Ambassador Zach poses for a photo in front of the United States Capitol building and its famous dome during Childhood Cancer Action Days in April.

I received a bone marrow transplant over a year ago, and I was so glad that I was healthy enough to speak on Capitol Hill this past April as a St. Baldrick’s ambassador. As an ambassador, I am a face and a voice for childhood cancer, and while in Washington, D.C., my family and I represented thousands of children and families who are affected by childhood cancer. I was lucky enough to share my story and talk about the importance of funding childhood cancer research through the STAR (the Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research) Act, the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever taken up by Congress. With the recent passage of the STAR Act, we have come so far, but we still have so far to go.

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Advocacy

The Childhood Cancer STAR Act Passes and is Signed Into Law

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 5, 2018

After years of advocating on Capitol Hill, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act passed and was signed into law! See how the STAR Act will help kids with cancer and childhood cancer survivors live long, healthy lives.

STAR Act logo


What is the childhood cancer STAR Act?

The STAR Act stands for the Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act. It is the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever taken up by Congress.

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Advocacy

Action Days 2018: Families Speak Up For Kids With Cancer on Capitol Hill

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 10, 2018

More than 200 childhood cancer advocates, including St. Baldrick’s families and Honored Kids, joined the Alliance for Childhood Cancer’s 7th Annual Childhood Cancer Action Days on April 23-24.

Group Photo

This two-day event in Washington, D.C. brought advocates to Capitol Hill to share their stories and thank their representatives for:

  • Passing the STAR Act unanimously in the Senate — the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever introduced to Congress
  • Approving a $3 billion increase for medical research at the NIH
  • Approving the RACE Act to encourage the development of new drugs to treat childhood cancer

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Advocacy

Pass the STAR Act Now, Because My Daughter Deserved Better

by Rachael Kittleson
March 27, 2018

The STAR Act — the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever introduced on Capitol Hill — was just passed by the Senate and now heads to the House, backed by the support of Members of Congress, families, survivors and advocates like YOU. Why is this bill so important? Rachael Kittleson, the mom to a teen who had a pediatric brain tumor, will tell you …

Avery, Rachael and Kelsey

Rachael (middle) smiles with Kelsey (right) and her little sister, Avery.

There is nothing in life that prepares you for the words, “Your daughter has a large tumor on the left side of her brain.” There is nothing in life that prepares you for telling your husband devastating news about his girl. And there is certainly nothing in life that prepares you for how to keep your teenage daughter calm as you say, “You have to go to the hospital, but you are going to be fine.”

I think back on watching my daughter Kelsey perform on stage or playing on the soccer and lacrosse fields. I think of the cancer breaking into her brain silently and lying in wait, like a burglar.

Kelsey in her soccer uniform

Kelsey was an energetic teenager and an accomplished athlete, playing both soccer and lacrosse.

For me, three years ago was such a time of pride and excitement as I watched our oldest daughter start to come into her own. She was an honors student, athlete, lead in the school musical, tutor and musician. While she was a normal teenage girl excited about things like her dress and date for her 8th grade dance, there was something else going on with Kelsey. The cancer was barely perceptible and easily dismissed, but it would eventually, most cruelly, take everything from her a piece at a time.

As Kelsey’s spring schedule was in full swing, the tumor started to make itself known in innocuous ways – ways I easily brushed aside as a mother. I had no idea this was the beginning and the beast would be in full control in just a couple of months. As Kelsey’s symptoms progressed, an MRI was ordered for August 27, 2015. That day would change our lives forever.

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Advocacy

Pass the STAR Act, Because Kids With Cancer Don’t Have Time to Wait

by Kathleen Henry
February 6, 2018

My kids are alive. My husband is alive. We are here and we are together. That is what I tell myself when the anger and bitterness take hold. My husband served the United States Army for over 22 years. During that time, two of our children, Collin and Patrick, were diagnosed with cancer.

Patrick and Collin together

Patrick and Collin are brothers and were both diagnosed with childhood cancer. Patrick, now 13 years old, was diagnosed with stage II intermediate risk hepatoblastoma, a rare cancer of the liver, in 2010. Collin, now 11 years old, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when he was 2 years old.

While my husband fought on foreign soil, I served our nation as a military spouse and tackled childhood cancer with our kids in North Carolina. As a family, we sacrificed so much for this nation and yet we ask so little in return – just a chance for a brighter future. The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act can get us there.

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