Editor’s Note: As we commemorate National Cancer Survivor Month, we’d like to introduce you to Katrina Knott, whose daughter, Arianna, was one of the five St. Baldrick’s “Ambassadors” for 2019. As you’ll read in her story, survivorship issues in pediatric cancer need attention – and funding – for those like Arianna, whose challenges are many.
Arianna during treatment.
June is National Cancer Survivor Month, a time to celebrate childhood cancer survivors and recognize that when a child is declared cancer-free, their cancer story isn’t over. Surviving childhood cancer is just the first step in a lifelong journey.
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).
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.
As we close a difficult year, we reflect on lessons shared by childhood cancer patients and survivors who have faced adversity with grace, courage, and resilience. From their words, come some messages worth remembering now.St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid, Sarah Swaim, and two-time leukemia survivor shares how having support during her cancer diagnosis helped her to keep going.
Want to know what it’s like to be a teenage survivor of childhood cancer? We asked 16-year-old Michael G. to share his experience, during National Cancer Survivor Month.
A childhood cancer survivor himself, Gregory J. Aune, MD, PhD, shares his personal experience and thoughts during National Cancer Survivor Month.
(Originally posted on Medium on May 19th, Dr. Aune graciously agreed to share this with St. Baldrick’s.)Dr. Aune was a St. Baldrick’s Scholar 2014 – 2019, serves as a scientific reviewer and is a member of the Advocacy Committee for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. He is the Greehey Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Survivorship in Children at Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
On Mother’s Day, we celebrate all moms, each special in her own way. Mothers of kids who have fought childhood cancer have traveled a journey no one would have chosen. May is also Brain Tumor Awareness Month. We asked Gaylene Meeson to share her story of being mom to a very special brain tumor survivor, Hannah.Gaylene Meeson and her daughter Hannah, survivor of an aggressive brain tumor called anaplastic meduloblastoma.
Photo by [Kenneth Lim, kennethlimphotography.com].
Formerly known as the St. Baldrick’s – Stand Up to Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, this team is now the St. Baldrick’s EPICC Team (Empowering Pediatric Immunotherapies for Childhood Cancer).
What do you do when you’ve been told your child has maybe 3 to 6 months to live? As the saying goes, “You get busy living or you get busy dying.” That’s the situation Kim and Jeff Schuetz were put in when their son Austin relapsed not once, but twice after treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the most common type of childhood cancer.
Before the doctors even told us, I knew. Micah had cancer. Even without understanding the enormity of what lay ahead, I knew that it meant my life and worse, my child’s life, would never be the same. Now I’m sharing my son Micah’s story because I believe in the critical need to support childhood cancer research with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Please join me in giving hope to the next child faced with a cancer diagnosis.
Most parents simply hope their child grows up to be a good person.
I mostly hope mine just gets the chance to grow up.
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