Every year, 300,000 families around the world will hear, “Your child has cancer.” But you can do something about it.
Aiden, Forever 7 (Angel), Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), One of five 2019 Ambassadors
If you want to get involved in the fight against childhood cancer, here are 10 facts you should know.
1. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the U.S.
Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for children and adolescents ages 1-19, and 1 in 264 children and adolescents will develop cancer before the age of 20.
September is here, or as we call it: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) – which, as you’d imagine, is a pretty big deal at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the #1 private funder of pediatric cancer research. Every year at this time there are blogs, social posts, invitations to change your Facebook profile or use a hashtag on Twitter related to CCAM – but this year you’ll also be seeing something new.
Although CCAM helps build awareness of pediatric cancers, there’s a need for a more permanent rallying cry. We don’t want September to be one month when people tweet and share Facebook updates about kids with cancer and then move on – after all, somewhere in the world, every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. We purposely created this campaign to bring this reality front and center.
First, though, a little background.
What is the St. Baldrick’s Foundation?
Nope, it’s not a foundation started by a saint with the unfortunate nickname “Bald Rick.”
St. Baldrick’s is a charity with a funny name that does one thing and does it well.
We fund grants for childhood cancer research through head-shaving events and other fundraisers across the globe, so kids with cancer can live long, healthy lives.
Dr. Elliot Stieglitz is a St. Baldrick’s Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. He’s researching ways to help kids with JMML who don’t respond to standard treatment. He explains JMML symptoms, treatment options, and how your support is moving research forward.
What is JMML?
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a type of blood cancer that affects young children.
1. Each year, more children diagnosed with cancer will be cured, joining the growing population of long-term childhood cancer survivors.
Thanks to advances in chemotherapy, radiation and surgical techniques, more children and adolescents are being cured of cancer every year. Today, there are over 420,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the United States, representing approximately 1 in 750 young adults, and that number is expected to exceed 500,000 by the year 2020.
Jason Yustein, M.D., Ph.D., a St. Baldrick’s Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, explains Ewing sarcoma symptoms, treatment options, and research opportunities.
What is Ewing sarcoma?
Ewing sarcoma is a type of childhood cancer that is most frequently found in children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.
Ewing sarcoma — the second most common bone cancer after osteosarcoma — often originates in the long, large bones of the body, including the hip, thigh, shin, chest, and arm bones.
Top: St. Baldrick’s researcher Akiko Shimamura (left) in her lab with a colleague at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. During her St. Baldrick’s-supported study, Dr. Shimamura studied a rare group of inherited bone marrow disorders that are associated with heightened risk of cancer. Bottom: Based at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, St. Baldrick’s researcher Scott Kachlany tested a new therapeutic agent for kids with ALL during his St. Baldrick’s-supported study.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation makes a bold statement: We support the most promising childhood cancer research, wherever it takes place. And because we grant more childhood cancer research than any non-government funder, it’s crucial that those dollars go to the right projects. But how do we pick the right projects?
Rising to that challenge is a widely respected grant application and scientific review process created by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
What is DIPG?
DIPG stands for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. It is a type of high-grade glioma, a brain tumor that comes from cells called glia that surround, protect, and otherwise support the nerve cells in the brain.
DIPG is always found in the brainstem. This part of the brain controls many basic functions like breathing and swallowing, as well as muscles that help with speech and eye movements.
It is most common in elementary school-aged children, but it can affect children of any age.
Learn more about childhood cancer >
About 250 kids in the U.S. are diagnosed with DIPG each year.
In the world of childhood cancer research, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) are two superheroes, teaming up to use their complementary strengths to save lives.
Dr. Mary Lou Schmidt decorates pumpkins with her patient, Isaac, and his mom. Isaac is on a Children’s Oncology Group clinical trial that’s part of a unique tri-institutional clinical trial program in Chicago that’s supported by St. Baldrick’s.
Ever wonder if your contributions make a real difference? That money you donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation – did it really accomplish anything?
David squeezes his mom, Susan, tight during a fundraising event.
Let us tell you about our son, David.
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