The best gifts are the ones that make us smile and fill our hearts with joy. When we are lucky enough to receive such a gift, we find ourselves filled with gratitude.
Jonah is this kind of gift — to his family, to his friends and to those he meets every day. Despite having faced childhood cancer, he is, in his mum’s words, “the most kind, inclusive, loving, welcoming, forgiving heart while also being the hardest working person you’ll ever meet.”
It doesn’t seem to add up—Jonah has every reason to be discouraged, defeated and even angry because of the impact childhood cancer has had on his life. But when you meet this survivor, you can see that childhood cancer doesn’t define him and you can’t deny that he is a gift. This is Jonah’s story.
Jonah at the beach in 2021.
Life can be unfair. Curveballs, challenges, and heartaches do not discriminate. Even for the nicest people you know.
But there’s a popular quote that promises, “rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.”
Meet Hanna. She has embodied this quote for 29 years, rising above the unfair hand she was dealt to feel the sunshine on her face.
Meet Hanna (no extra “h” at the end please).
January is usually a time to relax after holiday celebrations – but we aren’t done celebrating yet. Because of the support of St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds and donors like you, we can celebrate four new research grants this month.
These grants were made in response to a specific Request For Applications in disease areas in which St. Baldrick’s typically sees a low number of applications.
Dr. Mitchell Cairo will work to develop immunotherapeutic agents to enhance the functions of Natural Killer cells to kill Burkitt lymphoma. Natural Killer cells are type of immune cell that can kill cancer cells. If successful this would offer a potentially more effective and less toxic treatment option, ultimately leading to improved survival. This grant is supported by the Jack’s Pack – We Still Have His Back Hero Fund.
Dr. Saba Ghassemi is working to develop CAR T cells faster and with increased strength to fight pediatric glioblastoma (GBM). She will combine these CAR T cells with a metabolic strategy to overcome the metabolic nature of tumor environment. This will lead to superior immunotherapy treatments against pediatric GBM. This grant is supported by the Be Brooks Brave Fund Hero Fund.
Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer that occurs in children and young adults, is caused by an abnormal protein (EWS-FLI1) that stops cells from maturing into normal tissues. Dr. Joseph Ludwig is using powerful gene editing tools to systematically turn the EWS-FLI1 protein up or down and then measure whether such changes allow cancer cells to behave more normally. The information gained from this research is expected to lead to new anti-cancer treatments for adolescents and young adults battling Ewing sarcoma. This grant is supported by the Shohet Family Fund for Ewing Sarcoma Research Hero Fund.
Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier and colleagues have used a technology called CRISPR to identify new therapeutic targets for Ewing sarcoma. They prioritized a class of targets which are expressed in immature but not mature tissues. These proteins are often abnormally re-expressed in cancers such as Ewing sarcoma. Thus, drugs targeting these proteins would be expected to have minimal toxicity. Dr. Stegmaier will validate these therapeutic targets in Ewing sarcoma. This project has exciting translational potential for patients with Ewing sarcoma. This grant is supported by the The Ben Brandenburg Fund for Ewing Sarcoma Research Hero Fund.
As we look ahead into 2023 and beyond, this research gives kids with cancer hope. Keep a look out for our next grants announcement later this Spring. To learn more about the Hero Fund program check out this blog.
Donate now and help support research into better treatments for kids with cancer.
Read more on the St. Baldrick’s blog:
“Hi everybody! Welcome back to Jaron’s Toys.”
Jaron with his dog, Chloe.
Mia is no ordinary girl; in fact, she is EXTRA-ordinary! This spunky, fun-loving, energetic kindergartener is full of imagination.
Mia in hospital during chemotherapy treatment.
St. Baldrick’s Ambassadors represent the wide diversity of kids diagnosed with childhood cancers. Their stories highlight the importance of supporting the best childhood cancer research so all kids diagnosed can live long, healthy, productive and happy lives.
A year ago, Sage was as excited as any 4-year-old at Christmastime. His family had no idea how much their lives would change just a month later.
Sage opening presents on Christmas Day 2021
This research is powered by you. This quarterly edition of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Research Outcomes recognizes promising research to improve survival rates, provide holistic therapies, and translate adult drugs into pediatric trials.
Thank you for making research possible.
I will never forget the evening of Sunday, December 14, 2014, when the ER doctor and the pediatric neurologist on call entered our triage room and told us that our sweet eight-year-old girl had a huge brain tumor and life-threatening obstructive hydrocephalus. That moment left an indelible mark on my heart. The fear, the heartache, helplessness, and especially the unyielding desire to eliminate our baby’s pain and suffering were soul-crushing.
“Supergirl Julia” today
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