Kathleen’s Desk

Get to Know Our CEO

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 1, 2017

A foundation unlike any other needs a one-of-a-kind leader — and Kathleen Ruddy, the CEO of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, certainly fits that bill. But you don’t have to take our word for it — read on to get to know our CEO!

kathleen headshot

Kathleen has been with St. Baldrick’s since the foundation wasn’t much more than a new kind of event to raise money for childhood cancer research. Needless to say, it’s come a long way – and so has Kathleen.

We think it’s time you all got to know our fearless leader a little bit better, so we asked her a few questions about how she got started, her goals for St. Baldrick’s, and her hopes for the future.

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Advocacy

The ‘Moonshot’ to Cure Cancer: Keeping Kids in the Race

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 15, 2016

President Obama recently announced a new national effort to conquer cancer. See how St. Baldrick’s is already at work and how you can help.

Cheyenne smiling two thumbs up
In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced a “moonshot” to cure cancer: a new national effort to conquer cancer once and for all.

We fully support this effort, and together, I believe we have the passion, creativity, and energy to help make it happen.

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Kathleen’s Desk

The Gift of Perspective

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 2, 2015

A couple weeks ago, I donned a hospital gown (the unflattering kind that opens in the back) and hopped onto an exam table, turning its smooth white paper sheet into a bit of a crumple. As I waited for the doctor to join me, I considered what was about to happen.

Had it really been a year since my last skin cancer screening? Yes.

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Kathleen’s Desk

Farewell to a Giant: Remembering Dr. Robert Arceci

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 8, 2015

Early in the morning on June 8, the world lost a cancer research pioneer, thought leader and a kind, beloved humanitarian.

Dr. Robert Arceci
Dr. Robert Arceci, a member of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation board of directors and chair of our Scientific Advisory Committee, was killed by a hit and run driver while on his way to work at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Most people feel that when it’s their time, they want to go doing something they love. For Bob, he was riding the motorcycle he loved, to the work he loved.

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Kathleen’s Desk

Thank You for Helping Us Make History

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 9, 2014

Get involved with St. Baldrick’s.     Get Involved

Official Guinness World Record certificate

The official Guinness World Record certificate awarded to barber David Alexander on behalf of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

This morning, kids with childhood cancer have a new place in history because of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s volunteers. Records were broken — again!

David Alexander, a long-time St. Baldrick’s leader and barber, set a Guinness World Record by shaving the most heads in one hour — 73 — on the Today Show. David was ready for this day; he organized a test shave to prepare for the official Guinness World Record challenge. And he’s no stranger to St. Baldrick’s; he has personally raised over $674,000 for lifesaving childhood cancer research and has the St. Baldrick’s logo tattooed over his heart!

David is one of many extraordinary people who we’re so privileged to know. More than 80 volunteers joined him on the Today Show set. They came to midtown Manhattan from throughout the tri-state area, arriving at the crack of dawn to experience one of the fastest shaves, all for one reason — to put a spotlight on kids with cancer, their fight, and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s mission to give all kids with cancer long and healthy lives.

The kids we all fight for are the greatest heroes we’ll ever know. But I’ve always believed that the kids inspire the best, from the best people, and the St. Baldrick’s community proved that again today.

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Kathleen’s Desk

An Open Letter to Kamryn Renfro and Delaney Clements

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 25, 2014

Help kids with cancer.   Get Involved

Dear Kamryn and Delaney,

Yesterday we learned that you, Kamryn, were suspended from school for shaving your head. You did so in solidarity with your friend, 11-year-old Delaney Clements, a St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid — and a cancer-fighting hero.

Kamryn, every member of the worldwide St. Baldrick’s community is cheering for you today. Delaney didn’t ask to have cancer and lose her hair. But you chose to lose your hair to show Delaney how much you love her, and bald looks very beautiful on both of you.

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Kathleen’s Desk

Each Child is Irreplaceable. Unlike My Hair!

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 26, 2014

In many businesses, success is measured by statistics, and mine is no different.

Heads shaved, money raised, media impressions, research grants funded, and more — all meant to improve the most important statistic of all: The number of kids with cancer who survive.

But kids aren’t statistics, and they aren’t “business.” Unlike hair, each child is irreplaceable.

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Kathleen’s Desk

Why Did This Child Live? [VIDEO]

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 30, 2014

As I stood, frozen in place before my closet, I again asked myself, “What does one wear to a child’s funeral?”

I thought about the young man whose life we would celebrate, and chose purple, the color of half-mourning. It seemed right. Half of me is mad as hell that this beautiful soul has departed this life. My other half rejoices that Justin Miller is no longer suffering, and is now at peace. I am grateful Justin was sent to better us. It has been said that only the good die young, and this is certainly true of this ninja.

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Kathleen’s Desk

My Best Christmas Gift [VIDEO]

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 24, 2013

My best Christmas gift was delivered two weeks early. Our young Ambassador, Justin, left the hospital in time to participate in his school’s Winter Concert.

As Justin and his classmates sang, I thought about how he has miraculously fought cancer seven times, and how those miracles were possible because of another one.

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Kathleen’s Desk

Another Drug Shortage Puts Kids With Cancer at Risk

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 19, 2013

daunorubicin-drug-shortage
Drug shortages are devastating for kids with cancer. We must find a way to prevent them.

Many members of the childhood cancer community are aware of daunorubicin, a chemotherapy drug that is used to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. This generic sterile injectable drug is a first-line treatment for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and is also used in treatments for some types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of childhood cancer.

Teva Pharmaceuticals — the only distributor of daunorubicin in the United States — informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the drug is in short supply, and full production is not expected to resume until sometime next year. The company offered no explanation for the shortage and gave no specific timeline for restoring the drug to full production.

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