Families

‘This is Survival’: An Update on Chase

by Ellie Ewoldt
February 13, 2017

Four years ago, Chase’s doctors found an extremely rare type of brain tumor. Today, Chase is officially a childhood cancer survivor — but, as his mom Ellie explains, his journey is far from over. Read on to find out why being a survivor isn’t the end of the road for Chase and his family.

Chase and Dr. Lulla

Chase and Dr. Lulla pose for a selfie during his final visit.

“Wait, this is it?” I found myself staring incredulously at my son’s beloved neuro-oncologist.

His smile was immediate.

“This is it. You’re here. It’s time.”

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Families

‘This Is Not the Childhood My Children Deserve’: Aurora’s Story

by Kelly Wadle
February 10, 2017

Honored Kid Aurora was diagnosed with Stage III Wilms Tumor when she was just 15 months old. Her mom, Kelly, explains how cancer took away Aurora’s chance at a normal childhood — and all the ways Kelly and her family are fighting to take it back.

Aurora Smiling

Upon receiving my daughter’s diagnosis, I immediately began to grieve the loss of her childhood, one that was supposed to be beautiful and normal.

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Families

‘Strength Has Nothing to Do With Size’: My Daughter’s Childhood Cancer Journey

by Peter Ieraci
February 3, 2017

At just 21 months old, Honored Kid Isabella was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. But this devastating news was just the beginning of a long journey of treatments and surgeries that stole precious time from Isabella and her family. Her dad, Peter, explains what it was like.

isabella and her dad

“Your child has cancer.”

These are the words we heard on June 12, 2015, and life hasn’t been the same since.

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Families

Tenacious and Fighting: Atticus’ Story

by Lauren Feller, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 20, 2017

Honored Kid Atticus was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called choroid plexus carcinoma (CPC) after a scan revealed a tumor the size of a tennis ball. Now, the 2-year-old is halfway through chemotherapy and feeling better, and he and his family are ready to face the road ahead.

atticus smiling

Atticus seemed like happy, healthy baby.

“He was very self-sufficient as a baby,” said his dad, Caleb. “He loved being on the floor and playing around.”

But suddenly, Atticus’ easy-going demeanor changed.

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Families

Goodbye, 2016: A Look Back at the Year With Our Ambassadors

by Lauren Feller, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 30, 2016

We may be welcoming new Ambassadors soon, but not before we give our 2016 Ambassadors a chance to share some final thoughts about the past year. Read on to find out just how much the St. Baldrick’s community means to these amazing kids and their families.

2016 St. Baldrick's Ambassadors

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Families

Happy Birthday, Alyssa’s Leg!

by Michella Zoll
December 16, 2016

Ambassador Alyssa celebrates two birthdays every year — one for herself, and one for her leg. Today, the anniversary of Alyssa’s first big surgery for childhood cancer, her mom remembers that day and shares how far Alyssa has come.

ambassador alyssa and her family

A joyful Alyssa is cradled by (left to right) her mom Michella, sister Kalie, dad Harold, and brother Jacob.

Someone recently asked me why December 16 is hugely significant to us as a family.

It’s the day my 11-year-old daughter Alyssa had a major surgery that changed her life forever.

It’s the day my sweet girl got a new leg.

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Families

Honoring Sophie’s Spunky Spirit: A Memorial Fund for a Brighter Future

by Kallie Rossi
December 9, 2016

Honored Kid Sophie was just 3 months old when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. When Sophie passed away 15 months later, her parents worried that she might be forgotten. They decided to honor Sophie’s memory by starting a memorial fund in her name, forever tying her to a cause they care deeply about: funding childhood cancer research.

Sophie in the fall

“The next place that I go
will be as peaceful and familiar
as a sleepy summer Sunday
and a sweet, untroubled mind.
And yet….it won’t be anything like any place I’ve ever been…
or seen…or dreamed of
in the place I leave behind.”
– “The Next Place” by Warren Hanson

Our first child, Sophie, was born in October 2013, and we were smitten with her the instant that she arrived.

A few months later, we noticed some odd bruise-like spots on Sophie’s torso and back. She had a runny nose for a couple of weeks but we didn’t think much of it, as everyone around us seemed to have a cold. Still, her “spots” concerned us so we brought her to the pediatrician.

The doctor shared our concerns and immediately sent us for blood work.

That night marked the first of many long stays at the hospital. A bone marrow biopsy revealed that our precious 3-month-old had acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Frightened and confused, we immediately began treatment.

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Families

Remembering Althea

by Tina Sandi
December 1, 2016

Tina and Carlos’ childhood cancer journey didn’t begin with their son Phineas’ diagnosis in 2013. It began seven years earlier with their second child, Althea. On the 10th anniversary of Althea’s death, Tina shares how she continues to honor her daughter’s memory.

Althea and her mom

Althea and her mom.

December 1. I can feel it in my bones days before it arrives. Late fall, Thanksgiving leftovers gone, dead leaves, frost, Christmas coming, my daughter dying in my arms.

A fact of my life for 10 years now — my daughter Althea died of cancer when she was 2 years old.

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Families

Doing It Her Way: Annie’s Story

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 28, 2016

Honored Kid Annie is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, when the little girl was first diagnosed with leukemia, she told her mom, “I’m going to kick its butt.” And that’s just what this spirited fighter is doing, with her loving family backing her up. Read on for more about this amazing kid and her fight against cancer.

Annie makes a funny face

Annie doesn’t let anything stop her from being a kid — not even cancer.

The firecracker of a 5-year-old loves to dance, especially to the rock band AC/DC. Her signature move is like “the worm” but with less moving and the addition of a foot wiggle.

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Families

‘Our Miracle’: An Update on Abby

by Patty Furco
November 15, 2016

Over the summer, Abby’s dad shared some news with us: Abby was still cancer free, but her organs were failing. The doctors told her she had 48 hours to live. But Abby disagreed, and four months later, Abby’s mom wants us to know that Abby is still here — and she’s been busy!

Abby and her mom spend a day at the beach

Abby and her mom on the beach in the spring. Abby underwent a bone marrow transplant for relapsed Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia in January 2015 and has been battling complications ever since.

It’s been four months since we brought Abby home.

We brought our baby home because the doctors truly believed that Abby was beyond saving and it was time for end-of-life care. All of the signs were there. To all of the health care professionals from many hospitals and specialties, Abby’s body was failing and we were doing more to her than for her.

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