The Administration’s FY18 Budget proposes a $5.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health — a move that St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Jeffrey Lipton finds concerning for the future of childhood cancer research. Read on for more about the proposed budget, Dr. Lipton’s fears and what YOU can do about it.
As a physician scientist who has treated children with cancer for decades, I am deeply concerned about the President’s proposed federal budget for the coming year.
I know this budget will be carefully reviewed by many, and that Congress holds the purse strings. That’s why I’m counting on our champions in the House and Senate to stand up for our children.
This week the St. Baldrick’s Foundation calls to your attention two urgent challenges.
First, the new federal budget proposal calls for a cut of nearly 20% for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest funding source for childhood cancer research.
We get this question a lot — who is St. Baldrick of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation?
Is he the patron saint of the shaved? Does he have something to do with male pattern baldness? Would he be the wrong guy to pray to for a good hair cut?
No, no, and — maybe?
What we’re trying to say is that a saint named Baldrick doesn’t really exist.
(We know you’re disappointed, but we promise it gets better!)
The name St. Baldrick’s is a mashup of St. Patrick’s Day and the word “bald” — two things which sum up the humble beginnings of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer foundation that funds grants for childhood cancer research through shaving events and other fundraisers across the globe.
When people come together for a cause, incredible things happen. That’s true for St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events AND for the lifesaving work done by St. Baldrick’s researchers, especially the Stand Up To Cancer - St. Baldrick’s Pediatric Dream Team. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work! Read on to learn more about how cooperation and sharing between these researchers means big advances for kids with cancer.
They say two heads are better than one. But what about 149? That is how many brilliant brains are working together to conquer childhood cancers as part of the SU2C – St. Baldrick’s Pediatric Cancer Dream Team.
And it’s that cooperation that’s accelerating progress for kids and laying the foundation for better treatments and for cures, said Dr. Crystal Mackall and Dr. John Maris, co-leaders of the Dream Team.
Dr. Edward Allan Sison, a former St. Baldrick’s Fellow, is a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Cancer Center. He’s researching ways to make chemotherapy more effective in children with high-risk leukemias. He explains APL leukemia symptoms, treatment options, and how your support is moving research forward to help kids with this disease.
What is acute promyelocytic leukemia?
Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells. Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) comes from a type of white blood cells called promyelocytes.
Normal promyelocytes will grow up into white blood cells that fight off infection. In APL, the promyelocytes forget that they are supposed to grow up, and instead multiply at a very fast rate.
For kids diagnosed with a rare and fatal type of brain tumor called DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, there is no cure and treatments are heartbreakingly scarce. St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Mark Souweidane is on a mission to change the bleak statistics on DIPG survival. Learn about his groundbreaking work so far and what’s coming next.
DIPG life expectancy is devastatingly short — with many kids dying within two years of diagnosis. Dr. Mark Souweidane wants to change that.
For kids with DIPG, treatment with radiation just lets them live a little while longer. Traditional chemo doesn’t work because of the blood-brain barrier. Tumor removal with surgery is out of the question, because the cancer is intertwined with the delicate tissues of the brainstem, which regulates breathing and other vital functions.
So, what does a doctor working on DIPG do to help these kids?
Need some monthly inspiration? We’ve got it! Each month we will be highlighting one of our heroes right here on the blog. Without further ado, say hello to our first Advocate of the Month: Wendy Baskins. Wendy never backs down from a fight — just like her son, Stephen, who battled cancer three times. Read on for more about Stephen, what he taught her, and why Wendy fights for families facing childhood cancer.
Wendy wears a big grin as she goes bald for childhood cancer research during the 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave event. Courtesy of Cassell Photography
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That is one of the many things Wendy Baskins learned from her son, Stephen.
Honored Kid Leon is one tough cookie. He’s fought childhood cancer not just once, but twice, and this time, Leon and his family hope it’s gone for good — thanks to an immunotherapy trial run by Leon’s buddy Dr. Daniel Lee, an investigator with the Stand Up to Cancer – St. Baldrick’s Dream Team.
Leon and St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Daniel Lee share some smiles.
Everything changed one hot summer day in Colorado. Leon was spraying his cousins with a water gun and playing with the hose. Then the 9-year-old slipped on the slick deck and fell hard.
It was a badly bruised hip, said the doctors in the emergency room. It will heal. But it didn’t. Leon’s grandmother, Lisa, watched her normally active grandson walk gingerly and even resort to crutches.
Then she watched Leon get tired more quickly than a kid should. And then she watched him sleep. He slept and slept.
“And I knew then,” Lisa said. “I was like, ‘I think he’s sick again.’”
Dr. Gordon Cohen is a St. Baldrick’s Fellow at the John Hopkins Children’s Center. He’s testing new drugs for patients with Ph+ALL who relapse or fail to respond to treatment. He explains Ph+ALL symptoms, treatment options, and how your support is moving clinical trials forward to help kids with this disease.
What is Ph+ALL?
Philadelphia Chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ALL) is a rare subtype of the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Kids fight cancer all over the world — but they don’t all have the same chance for a cure. This International Childhood Cancer Day, learn more about the global problem of childhood cancer and what St. Baldrick’s is doing about it, as explained by St. Baldrick’s researcher and Scientific Advisory Committee member Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo.
A child is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, in New York. Another child is fighting ALL in Guatemala City. And another in rural Uganda.
All of those kids should have the chance to live long and healthy lives and have access to the best treatments possible. But the reality is more complicated.
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