Families

‘I Can Be the Voice for My Son’: Father Shaves his Head for the Eighth Time in Honor of his Son

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 23, 2018

For Eric Haddad, head shaving isn’t just a one-time deal, because as the dad of a kid who fought brain cancer, he knows firsthand that the effects can last a lifetime. Next month, at the Rocky River event in Ohio, Eric will be shaving his head for the eighth time, while raising funds for research that he hopes will lead to better, safer treatments for kids with cancer.

Eric shaves for his son

During a past event, Eric shaves for his son, Shane.

When Shane Haddad was 4 years old, he started fighting childhood cancer. Eight years later, he hasn’t stopped fighting.

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Childhood Cancer

Looking for a Cure Far From Home: Shauntelle’s Story

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 15, 2018

Childhood cancer knows no borders – but neither does research. In fact, funding kids’ cancer research saves the lives of kids across the globe. This International Childhood Cancer Day, meet Honored Kid Shauntelle, a 19-year-old from Ireland who left everything familiar behind so she could have her best chance at life.

Shauntelle

Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign, Shauntelle and her family were able to move from their home in Ireland to Houston, Texas for cancer treatment.

Honored Kid Shauntelle lives about an hour south of the city of Dublin in Ireland. Four years ago, when she was 15 years old, she noticed rashes popping up on her body. She thought she was scrubbing too hard in the shower or was allergic to her body wash.

“For a while, I just didn’t think to speak up. It was a big pain and a big part of my life, but it was a bit embarrassing,” Shauntelle said. “I wasn’t sure if I was doing something wrong.”

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Events and Fundraisers

Meet Sir Jack, Eight-Time Shavee and League of Legendary Heroes Champion

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 22, 2018

Honored Kid Jack is selfless, brave, passionate, and funny. The seventh grader works hard, even when the odds are against him and if he could be friends with everyone in the world, he would be. In a word, Jack is special. Even cancer couldn’t take that away from him. And that’s what makes him a legendary hero to us — and this year’s League Champion of the St. Baldrick’s League of Legendary Heroes. You can be a legendary hero too! Get started today.

Jack dressed as a knight

Jack was named 2018 League Champion for the League of Legendary Heroes because of his dedication to fundraising for kids’ cancer research. Photo by Courtney Van Alice Photography

Driving home from a visit with her sister, Vickie decided to run an errand. She pulled into the parking lot at Office Depot and stopped the car, expecting her son, Jack, to get out with her. But he didn’t.

“He’s like, ‘I can’t get out of the car, Mom. I can’t move,’ And I was like, ‘What? You were just wrestling with your cousin.’”

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Childhood Cancer

Kymriah’s Journey From Lab to Lifesaver: The Phase 2 Trial [Part Three]

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 11, 2018

Over a series of four blogs — catch up with parts one and two about the Phase 1 trial — we are tracing the path of Kymriah, a recent immunotherapy and gene therapy breakthrough for kids with high-risk leukemia, like Honored Kid Ori.


After relapsing for the second time and with his cancer spreading to his nervous system, Ori’s best chance at life was a Phase 2 trial of this experimental CAR T cell therapy. With a sunny attitude and staggering strength of spirit, Ori gave this new treatment a shot – with astonishing results.

Ori smiles in bed

Ori was in cancer treatment for much of his young life and throughout the journey, his strength and positive attitude have been remarkable. “He has been through so much, but has done it all with a great attitude and a smile on his face,” said his mom, Kaye.

When a child with cancer relapses the first time, their treatment options shrink. But when a child with cancer relapses again, their options and chances at survival don’t just shrink – they’re nearly extinguished. That is what happened to Ori.

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Families

Meet Brooks

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Brooks

Brooks was only 5 years old, but he had a passion for life! He loved dance parties, Hot Wheels cars, monster trucks, Legos and video games.

His favorite holidays were Christmas and the Fourth of July, and his favorite sports were baseball and soccer. Brooks knew every pizza joint in town and loved salami sandwiches.  He enjoyed taking walks to look for rocks or shells on the beach.

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Families

Meet Julia

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Julia

When you meet Julia, you know right away there’s something special about her. Perhaps it’s her bright smile or her exuberant joy and compassion for others. But this 11-year-old girl is super!

In fact, that’s her family’s favorite nickname for her — “Supergirl Julia” — given in honor of her courage and determined spirit during her cancer journey.

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Families

Meet Zach

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Zach with a sign

Zach is a cancer warrior. He is courageous, strong and has fought cancer three times.

Diagnosed when he was 6 years old, Zach beat cancer for the first time after nearly four years of treatment. Then, at age 11, he knew it was back. Zach powered through almost three more years of treatment with a positive attitude.

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Families

Meet Maya

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Maya

Maya describes the day she was diagnosed with Wilms tumor as “the worst day ever.”

It was July 6, 2016, one month before her seventh birthday. Doctors immediately scheduled surgery to remove her left kidney, where the tumor was located. Two weeks later, Maya began her treatment plan, which included radiation and chemotherapy. But shortly after treatment started, more aggressive cancer cells were found in her tumor and Maya was placed on a more intensive chemotherapy plan.

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Families

Meet Kellan

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Kellan in his wheelchair

With an irresistible laugh and the face of a cherub, 5-year-old Kellan wins the hearts of everyone he meets. No one even notices his wheelchair.

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Families

Researcher Works to Crack the DIPG Code with Help from McKenna Claire

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 15, 2017
McKenna Claire was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with DIPG

McKenna Claire was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called DIPG. The McKenna Claire Foundation was established in her memory and in 2013, St. Baldrick’s partnered with the McKenna Claire Foundation to fund DIPG research, like the work done by Dr. Rameen Beroukhim at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Honored Kid McKenna Claire was bright, spirited, and loved soccer and gymnastics. McKenna was full of grace, joy and grit through it all, even as her childhood cancer progressed and she could no longer run across a soccer field, jump on a trampoline, talk or swallow. She died just six months after her diagnosis with a rare, fatal type of brain tumor called DIPG  – weeks before her birthday. She would have been 8 years old.

Learn more about McKenna and her cancer journey from her mom, Kristine >

Stories like this are why St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Rameen Beroukhim studies DIPG, otherwise known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. In fact, McKenna’s photograph hangs in his lab.

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