Teens & Young Adults

2021 Ambassador Campbell: “Shining Through”

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 22, 2021

Our hearts are broken at the loss of Campbell, a 2021 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador. She died on February 22, 2021. Her mom, Gibby shared …

“Campbell Barrett Sullivan our absolute joy passed away this morning due to a brain hemorrhage brought on by CIC-DUX4 Sarcoma. We are absolutely broken-hearted, not sure how we will go on without her, but we will!

She brought so much passion and love to every day, whether it was sending cheer through a card, or in person, reaching out online, determined to advocate for other kids even when she felt the worst herself. There are days when she would open her eyes just to give an interview and be clear and passionate as ever just to fall asleep exhausted as soon as she was off the video call.

One thing she would want me to tell you is that cancer is NOT a win or lose battle and that is because no child chooses this fight. It’s not a competition and so you can’t lose to cancer. Campbell rose to this challenge and figured out a way to grow and spread joy and passion like ripples across the water.

Sitting in the hospital looking out the window I thought that’s what we will do, try to be a window for the light of Campbell to shine through. We love you all and she did too! Please be good to yourself and others.”

Campbell Skiing

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Teens & Young Adults

2021 Ambassador Alexa: Beautiful Soul

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 3, 2021

Beautiful soul. Positive thinker. People person. Seattle Seahawks fan. St. Baldrick’s supporter. Cancer survivor.

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Kids with Cancer

Undergoing Cancer Treatment During These Crazy Times

by Alyssa Greenwell
August 21, 2020

In 2017, I was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It was a shock. I immediately started my first of six rounds of chemotherapy. Every month, I would have to go inpatient for one week for treatment. Unfortunately, I relapsed two months after completing that. I then got a second opinion and did two clinical trials, and when those failed, I went on to Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) in New York. One trial failed, but the next finally got me to remission, allowing me to get a transplant.

girl smiling in Times Square

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Teens & Young Adults

Fear: The Realities of Life During Cancer Treatment

by Jake Teitelbaum
July 9, 2019

Editor’s Note: We’ve let Jake, the founder of Resilience Gives, tell us his experience of dealing with uncertainty during treatment.

Jake during treatment

After a few hours of watching carboplatin steadily drip into my bloodstream, I was relieved when my friend Alex poked her head around the corner of the oversized hospital room door. It was day three of my first inpatient stay since beginning my medical leave of absence, and Alex was the first non-family visitor. When she placed her hand beneath the Purell dispenser, I could see a game tucked underneath her arm.

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Childhood Cancer

Meet Georgia, St. Baldrick’s Newest League of Legendary Heroes Champion

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 25, 2019

The League of Legendary Heroes is an order of dedicated volunteers who’ve participated in St. Baldrick’s Foundation events for three or more years. Each year, St. Baldrick’s names a League Champion to lead and inspire this group to raise money for lifesaving childhood cancer research.

Georgia Moore, our newest League Champion of the League of Legendary Heroes, just celebrated her 19th birthday on Dec. 30. The following day, New Year’s Eve, marked nine years since Georgia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Photograph of 2019 League Champion Georgia Moore with her family at Tufts University.

Our 2019 League Champion, Georgia Moore (third from left), appears with her family at Tufts University.

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Childhood Cancer

How Your Donations Helped Zach Beat Childhood Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 11, 2018

Most six-year-old boys spend their time thinking about toys, candy and getting to school on time. Few need to worry about their health at such a young age, and even fewer face the uncertain future following a cancer diagnosis.

Fighting cancer was Zach’s world when he was six. In 2007, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. Over the next four years, Zach underwent intense and physically demanding treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

Zach before and after his immunotherapy clinical trial.

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Families

When a Child Dies of Cancer, What Should You Say? Here’s One Piece of Advice …

by Vicki Bunke
August 1, 2018

What should you say to someone whose loved one has died? Vicki Bunke has some simple advice that comes from heartbreaking experience — her 14-year-old daughter, Honored Kid Grace, died of bone cancer in March. Here’s what Vicki has to say …

Grace jumps into her mother's arms

Vicki’s daughter Grace grins and laughs in her mom’s arms. Grace was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was 11 years old and lost part of her leg to the disease. After her third relapse, she knew her disease was terminal but remained determined to experience everything life had to offer. Photo by Ashton Songer Photography

For 20 years, I have had the privilege of working as a school psychologist. I am honored to get up every morning and go to a job where I get to spend hour after hour interacting with young people. Sadly, this past spring, a young student who attended the high school where I work — and whom I loved dearly — died of osteosarcoma, a childhood bone cancer.

This student happened to be my 14-year-old daughter, Grace.

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Real-Life Stories

What Is It Like to Be a Childhood Cancer Survivor? It’s Complicated.

by Zoe Enderle Wagner
June 25, 2018

Honored Kid Zoe was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when she was a teenager. Now, almost four years after finishing treatment and getting the news that the cancer was gone, Zoe is taking a look at what she’s learned during her cancer — and cancer-free — journey.

Zoe Wagner

Honored Kid Zoe Wagner is now 19 years old and has been cancer free for four years.

The anticipation of upcoming milestones and the overall exploratory nature of the teenage years make the age of 15 a common time to be naïve – and naive I was. Life was simple and my carefree spirit allowed me to believe it would always be that way. This trusting nature also led me to ignore the severity of the disease symptoms I was having for months. As these symptoms got worse, my uncomplicated mind created uncomplicated explanations for the way I was feeling. I told myself that I was always tired because I was a teenager, and that this exhaustion was the cause of my daily headaches. I blamed my newly heavy periods on ordinary hormonal changes, bruising on being clumsy, unusually pale skin on it simply not being sunny enough out, and weight loss on, well, it happens. It wasn’t until red needle-prick like dots appeared all over my legs that I requested to go to the doctor.

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Advocacy

Pass the STAR Act Now, Because My Daughter Deserved Better

by Rachael Kittleson
March 27, 2018

The STAR Act — the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever introduced on Capitol Hill — was just passed by the Senate and now heads to the House, backed by the support of Members of Congress, families, survivors and advocates like YOU. Why is this bill so important? Rachael Kittleson, the mom to a teen who had a pediatric brain tumor, will tell you …

Avery, Rachael and Kelsey

Rachael (middle) smiles with Kelsey (right) and her little sister, Avery.

There is nothing in life that prepares you for the words, “Your daughter has a large tumor on the left side of her brain.” There is nothing in life that prepares you for telling your husband devastating news about his girl. And there is certainly nothing in life that prepares you for how to keep your teenage daughter calm as you say, “You have to go to the hospital, but you are going to be fine.”

I think back on watching my daughter Kelsey perform on stage or playing on the soccer and lacrosse fields. I think of the cancer breaking into her brain silently and lying in wait, like a burglar.

Kelsey in her soccer uniform

Kelsey was an energetic teenager and an accomplished athlete, playing both soccer and lacrosse.

For me, three years ago was such a time of pride and excitement as I watched our oldest daughter start to come into her own. She was an honors student, athlete, lead in the school musical, tutor and musician. While she was a normal teenage girl excited about things like her dress and date for her 8th grade dance, there was something else going on with Kelsey. The cancer was barely perceptible and easily dismissed, but it would eventually, most cruelly, take everything from her a piece at a time.

As Kelsey’s spring schedule was in full swing, the tumor started to make itself known in innocuous ways – ways I easily brushed aside as a mother. I had no idea this was the beginning and the beast would be in full control in just a couple of months. As Kelsey’s symptoms progressed, an MRI was ordered for August 27, 2015. That day would change our lives forever.

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Events and Fundraisers

Childhood Cancer Survivor Fights Back by Going Bald

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 19, 2018

When it comes to fighting childhood cancer, Honored Kid Tyler is a triple threat – he’s a survivor of kids’ cancer, a shavee and a nursing student! Why is he passionate about conquering childhood cancers? Because this three-time cancer fighter doesn’t want more kids to go through what he did.

Tyler smiles with Honored Kid

Tyler smiles after his shave with 9-year-old Honored Kid Ally.

While Tyler was in the hospital, he became very good at pretending that he was asleep. He overheard all sorts of things – things that doctors liked to sugarcoat when he was awake. Like the fact that they thought he was going to die.

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