Real-Life Stories

Happy “National Nurses Day”

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 6, 2020

To celebrate we’re honoring one of the best

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as “Year of the Nurse and Midwife.” With the current global crisis, it couldn’t be more appropriate timing. Nurses and frontline workers are currently being recognized as heroes. In honor of this we’re spotlighting Chris Oless, a phase I/II pediatric oncology research nurse at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Chris is at the very forefront of the incredible work being done to advance childhood cancer research.

Nurse and Kid

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Families

FINDING LIFE AFTER DEATH: After losing twin boys to cancer the Deckers harness the power of hope to honor them.

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 29, 2020

For a parent, losing a child shatters your core beliefs, assumptions about the world, and your expectations of how life should unfold. Losing two children only 18 months apart… truly devastating.

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Families

Q & A with Siblings of the 2020 Ambassadors

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 10, 2020

April 10th is National Siblings Day. You know, your parents’ other children who push your buttons just right, make you laugh when you least expect it, or get you in trouble with mom and dad? Yeah, those people – your brother or sister, older or younger, today’s the day to show them that they are an important person in your life!

For National Siblings Day, we checked in with the brothers and sister of some of the 2020 St. Baldrick’s Ambassadors! Childhood cancer impacts the entire family, and we want to share what it feels like to be a sibling of a kid with cancer. Meet some remarkable kids who opened up to us about their experience!

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Real-Life Stories

Cheers to our Volunteers – Vote for St. Baldrick’s 2020 Volunteers of the Year!

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 31, 2020
collage of nominees

As a volunteer and donor powered organization, St. Baldrick’s is comprised of many amazing volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty to #DFYchildhoodCancers. We appreciate them all and would love to recognize and award each and every one of them. So, for the first year ever, we selected eight volunteers who have put the spirit of volunteerism into action this past year.

In anticipation of National Volunteer Week next month, we want YOUR vote to see who will be featured in April as a “2020 Volunteer of the Year.” We’ve created three categories: Head-Shaving Participant, Do What You Want Fundraiser, and Advocate and a winner will be selected from each one. Read below to get to know the selfless individuals who have made an ever-lasting impact in their community and the mission of St. Baldrick’s. Then, cast your vote for each category!

The winners will be announced on our social media channels during National Volunteer Week (April 19-25) and will be provided with an exclusive award. Voting is open March 31 to April 7, 2020. Spread the word and ask others to vote, too!

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Families

Keeping Your Marriage Strong When Your Child Has Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 14, 2020

Jack Callahan has been through a ton in just four years on Earth. Six rounds of chemotherapy, then a major surgery, plus three rounds of chemo with three stem cell transplants. Radiation – he’s only part of the way through 33 treatments of that –and hearing loss and hair loss; he spent a total of 117 nights in the hospital in 2019.

For parents Emily and Michael, though, you’d think Valentine’s Day isn’t top of mind today – you may be right, but that doesn’t mean that the young couple isn’t staying connected through this new reality. Both working parents had to scale back their hours, and the family must shuttle back and forth between home in Charlottesville, Virginia and treatments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Yet, on this Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d share Emily’s perspective: how do they all manage to juggle the stresses and emotional strain of a kid with cancer?

family smiling

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Kids with Cancer

Honoring Kids with Cancer on National Pizza Day

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 7, 2020

It’s tough to beat pizza as a kid-friendly food. Birthday parties? Pizza. Not sure what to eat for dinner? Pizza. But on this National Pizza Day, February 9, 2020, there’s a connection between pizza, kids with cancer, and a pay-it-forward movement that continues – nearly 7 years after a girl named Hazel started it with a hand-crafted sign from her hospital room.

This Is the Message That Started It All

Send Pizza sign in windowLittle did Hazel’s grandmother and mother know, the hand-made sign meant to cheer Hazel up during treatment would go viral.

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Kids with Cancer

Learn about the League of Legendary Heroes and 2020 League Champion Brody

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 16, 2020

St. Baldrick’s League of Legendary Heroes recognizes volunteers who have gone above and beyond in the fight against childhood cancers with three or more years of service. These are dedicated supporters of every role — shavees, volunteers, barbers, DWYW fundraisers, advocates and more! This honorable group is led by an Honored Kid known as the League Champion, who hopes to inspire members to continue fundraising for childhood cancer research.

Meet Brody, our 2020 League Champion. In 2014, doctors found a mass in the back of Brody‘s head. He was just 8-years-old at the time, and his mom, Sarah, says it was the beginning of life-changing events.

collage of boy

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Kids with Cancer

Meet the 2020 St. Baldrick’s Ambassadors!

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 7, 2020

Every year, St. Baldrick’s selects five children to serve as Ambassadors. They represent the wide diversity of kids who are affected by childhood cancers and their stories underscore the importance of supporting childhood cancer research.

Banner with kids

There is one common thread though – each child is more than their cancer diagnosis. They have their own favorite holidays, music, foods and hobbies. And as their families will attest, each child has their own unique personality from spunky and fun loving to compassionate and caring.

While we normally select five children – with one who has passed away from cancer representing the 1-in-5 who don’t survive – this year we have chosen six kids, in order to include twin brothers Seth and Joel, who both died months apart from each other.

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Real-Life Stories

One Last Christmas: A Mother Shares Her Son’s Cancer Story

by Erica Bonner, Aiden's Mom
December 4, 2019

My name is Erica, and I never imagined that I would have a childhood cancer story to tell.

I’ll never forget the moment I heard the words “your son has cancer”—it hit our family like a ton of bricks. Now I’m sharing my son Aiden’s story because I believe in the critical need to support childhood cancer research with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And this holiday season, you can join me in giving hope to the next child faced with a cancer diagnosis.

First, cancer took away my little boy’s smile. Then, it took his life.

Boys on a swingAiden on the right (in the green shirt), on the swing with his brother Evan, before his diagnosis. That smile sums him up–grinning, being Aiden, just loving life.

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Advocacy

Why the Pediatric Cancer Dream Team Incorporates Patient Advocates into the Research Process

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
October 16, 2019

“I’m an accidental tourist in the childhood cancer world,” says Patrick Sullivan, who chairs the Patient Advocacy committee for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation — Stand Up 2 Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. “It’s not a place I’d ever thought I’d be in, until I heard that my son had rhabdomyosarcoma in 2007.”

Patrick and Finn in slide.Patrick Sullivan and his son, Finn.

Patrick’s role is more than just tourist, though. When the Pediatric Cancer Dream Team was created, its goal was to push the envelope, to marry the emerging fields of genomics and immunotherapy to create targeted therapies for cancers. It was also important to the Dream Team to involve patient advocates, to inspire and work alongside the researchers, to maximize the Dream Team’s success. Along the way, each researcher was paired with a young investigator on the team, to help the advocates better understand the science and to help the young investigators better communicate their work to families and the lay public.

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