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.’”
Benny and his family were on vacation in Orlando when a severe headache and vomiting landed him in the ER. A simple CT scan revealed he had a tumor in the back of his brain.
Abby was first diagnosed with Ph+ ALL, a rare and aggressive type of leukemia, in February 2011. Soon, Abby was on a unique combination chemotherapy treatment available to her because of St. Baldrick’s-funded research.
Emily’s nickname as a camp counselor is “Sunshine,” and for good reason.
Diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in April 2016, Emily has kept a sunny attitude, despite a devastating diagnosis and a risky treatment plan.
It started with a swollen eye that wouldn’t get better. Then, Princeton’s parents found a large, hard lump on the side of his head. In late December 2011, at 2 years old, Princeton was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma.
Want to see someone tough? Look no further than Ike.
Rocky and Rambo have nothing on this childhood cancer fighter who just finished treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
When Honored Kid Will was 3 years old, he was diagnosed with cancer. Now, the third grader with the dimpled smile and bright eyes is healthy, thanks to a clinical trial made possible by St. Baldrick’s funding. Read on for Will’s story of survival.
NEW VIDEO: Will’s Story >
On the surface, Will looks like any other 8-year-old boy. He loves playing soccer, camping with his family, and playing with their dog, Jack. The third grader is a big fan of superheroes and is also quite the successful fisherman.
You’d never guess that most of his young life has been spent fighting cancer.
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.
“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.
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.
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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