Life can be unfair. Curveballs, challenges, and heartaches do not discriminate. Even for the nicest people you know.
But there’s a popular quote that promises, “rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.”
Meet Hanna. She has embodied this quote for 29 years, rising above the unfair hand she was dealt to feel the sunshine on her face.
Meet Hanna (no extra “h” at the end please).
A year ago, Sage was as excited as any 4-year-old at Christmastime. His family had no idea how much their lives would change just a month later.
Sage opening presents on Christmas Day 2021
The following speech was a highlight of the March 2022 St. Baldrick’s event at St. Agnes Parish Center in Rockville Centre, NY. With thanks to Greta, we’re sharing it so others can hear her experience and how she feels about St. Baldrick’s, as a childhood cancer survivor.
“Hi! My name is Greta Ohanian and I am currently 6 years out of treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Sometimes I struggle with what to say at events like this because there are so many aspects of cancer that I could touch on as a survivor. But one of the worst parts is how frightening it is to go into a cancer diagnosis knowing how limited the treatment is.
Greta during treatment.
Each survivor’s risk of late effects of cancer treatment depends on their tumor, specific treatments, age, genetic makeup and other factors. Surgeries, chemotherapies, radiation, stem cell transplants and other treatments take a toll on the body – and sometimes the mind – in many ways. Some late effects make life more difficult; others are life-threatening.
Heart and lung problems are common, as are secondary cancers.
Other late effects can include hearing problems, hormonal imbalances, difficulty growing, mental health needs or cognitive deficiencies, bone density issues and easy bone fractures, fertility and reproductive problems, and more.
By Sir Bodie Centore, Knight of the Bald Table, now age 17
My Buckets for St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, a 3v3 basketball tournament held in Syracuse, NY, raised over $10,000 for childhood cancer research on March 20th. While this event surpassed my fundraising goal, it also had an impact even more significant than anything I had experienced in 10 years of fundraising for St. Baldrick’s.
I became involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation 10 years ago after hearing about the local Syracuse, NY event at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant from family and friends. I was intrigued, but as a 7-year-old, very nervous about having my head shaved. Earlier that year, I spent several days in the hospital with pneumonia. I didn’t understand cancer much then, I couldn’t even spell it, but I knew I hadn’t enjoyed my time at the hospital and I didn’t think kids should have to go through anything like that.Bodie at his first shave with Emcee Chow Downey
by David Gosser, team captain and dad
The RED Sparkle Octopus Crusaders (RSOC) Team honors four children – Nina, Tommy, Amaya, and Kristina – who met in 2005, while in treatment at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, Virginia. They started shaving individually in 2005/06 and formed the original team in 2009; this version came together in 2014. Other families affected by childhood cancer and dozens of good friends have joined the team’s efforts over the years. Since inception, the RSOC have raised over $380,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They remain fully committed to funding research to create cures, united by the hope that they are helping other kids and families find better outcomes. The team’s name is a combined tribute to the memories of the four Angels.
Meet Natasha, a 13-year-old from Uganda, and St. Baldrick’s first International Ambassador.Natasha in her school uniform.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Alaska there was a sweet princess who loved to dance, sing, and giggle. She walked in a swirl of magic, was brave, kind, and full of joy; everyone who knew her adored her. A night for her may have been dark, but it certainly didn’t hide her shine. She battled a monster named ATRT and was known throughout the land as Danica the Brave. This is her story.
They call him “Super Benji” and the whole room chanted his name when it was his turn at the head-shaving event — a two-time childhood cancer survivor braving the shave for the second time to help raise funds for other kids with cancer. This is Benji.
His mom calls him “an old soul.” This almost three-year-old little boy feels deeply and loves immensely — grown-up strengths that are carrying him through hard days in and out of the hospital as he faces off with cancer. This is Bodie.
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