Survivors

‘Our Own Little Valentine’s Day’: Ambassador Sarah’s Wedding Story

by Sarah Rostock
February 14, 2017

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, your favorite lovebirds are back – 2012 Ambassador Sarah and her honey Patrick. You remember how it all began, almost 10 years ago – boy meets girl, girl fights cancer with boy by her side, boy pops the question. Now read on for the happiest of happy endings.

Sarah and Patrick on their wedding day

Photos courtesy of Chelsie Darling Photography

Patrick and I tied the knot on October 29, 2016. It started like any other good day, with Starbucks and reflection.

I kept thinking, ‘I am about to marry the man who had loved me through it all — through long distances, relapse, transplant, recovery, and finishing my degree. He has never failed to love me.’

I had no fears about our marriage standing the test of time, because we had already been through so much together. Our wedding day had been more than nine years in the making – and what a day it was!

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Research

Moving On From Cancer: The Challenges Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors Face

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 23, 2016

Being a teen or young adult can be tough. Being a teen or young adult who has survived cancer is even tougher. Read on for more about the unique challenges adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors face, and how a St. Baldrick’s researcher is reaching out to help.

Dr. Lisa Schwartz explores the health app with a patient

Psychologist Dr. Lisa Schwartz and a patient look at the health app that she’s using in her texting intervention study.

The teenage and young adult years are a time of discovery, a time to map out one’s identity, and to stretch into what could be. Those years are a coming-of-age dance, with a side of hormones, prom dates, and boundary pushing.

Sometimes it’s a little awkward, and maybe filled with more than a few mistakes. But as much as some of us wanted to skip right over them, those years are crucial.

But what happens when cancer is thrown into the mix?

That already rough developmental period gets rockier.

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Kids with Cancer

‘My One Ticket to Live On’: How a Clinical Trial Saved Mitch Carbon’s Life

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 9, 2016

Like most college freshmen, Mitch Carbon is excited to be getting a fresh start. But unlike his peers, just two years ago, he didn’t think he’d live to see this day. Read on for more of Mitch’s story and the clinical trial that saved his life — all made possible by YOU.

Mitch hugs his dad

When Mitch Carbon was a junior in high school, he was preparing to die.

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Advocacy

A Balancing Act: An Update on Kate Foster

by Kate Foster
August 23, 2016

Two years ago we brought you the incredible story of Kate Foster, who was just getting back to the gym after surviving childhood cancer. Now she’s 17 and still competing in gymnastics — all while keeping up top grades, applying to colleges, and advocating for kids with cancer. Read Kate’s story in her own words below.

Kate Foster Beam

When I was 8 years old I started competitive gymnastics and it quickly became my life.

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News

A Heartfelt Goodbye to Two Board Members

by Sarah Swaim
July 1, 2016

Today marks the end of an era for Joe Bartlett and Chuck Chamness as they complete their terms on our board of directors. Read 2012 Ambassador Sarah’s heartfelt letter thanking them for all the hard work they’ve dedicated to kids with cancer.

Joe Bartlett and Chuck Chamness holding books

Joe Bartlett (left) and Chuck Chamness hold their goodbye gifts at their final St. Baldrick’s board meeting.

Dear Mr. Bartlett and Mr. Chamness,

I want to thank you for all you have done as members of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s board of directors.

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Families

My Cousin Has Cancer, But She Will Not Fight Alone

by Maddie Messner
June 9, 2016

For Maddie Messner, family comes first. So when she heard the news that her cousin, Allie, was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma, Maddie knew she had to do something to help. Read on to see how Maddie has decided to “rally for Allie,” and how Allie inspired her along the way.

Allie and Maddie

Cousins Allie (left) and Maddie share a very close friendship.

My cousins and sisters are my best friends.

The 11 of us call ourselves “the cousin clan.” Growing up, we did everything together: sleepovers, parties, road trips. I even shared a dorm room with my one of my cousins all through college.

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Families

Dear Mom, Thank You for Always Being There for Me

by Sarah Swaim
May 7, 2016

2012 Ambassador Sarah’s childhood cancer journey was nothing less than difficult. But through it all, she had the constant support from her mom. Read Sarah’s sweet letter to her mom for Mother’s Day.

Sarah and her mom at a St. Baldrick's event

Sarah was diagnosed with biphenotypic leukemia in August 2003.

Dear Mom,

Where do I even begin to thank you for all you have given and done for me? To be honest, it’s a little daunting.

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Families

We Survived Together: A Letter to My Mom on Mother’s Day

by Emily Magilnick
May 6, 2016

2013 Ambassador Emily is living it up in the Big Apple as a student at New York University. Meanwhile, her mom is on the other side of the country in California. Despite the distance, Emily made sure her mom is feeling loved for Mother’s Day — read Emily’s touching letter below.

Emily and her mom together

Emily and her mom have a close relationship.

Dear Mom,

First off, happy Mother’s Day! I love you so much, which I hope you already know. I hope you can understand how difficult it is for me to write this letter because you (and Dad and Max) mean more to me than everything in the world.

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Head-Shaving

What I Think of When I Hear the Word ‘Cancer’

by Cierra Walsh
April 22, 2016

Cierra Walsh was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right femur on March 19, 2014. She went through nine months of chemotherapy and four surgeries on her leg. Now, the 15-year-old has a strong voice for kids with cancer — read what she has to say about it.

Cierra and her friends at the head-shaving event

Cierra, surrounded by her friends, poses with her newly shaved head.

People often say that the three most important words in the English language are “I love you.”

But my life experience suggests something different. The three most important words to me are “you have cancer.”

Everything in my life has been changed by those three simple words.

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Head-Shaving

Third Time’s the Charm: Sarah Gets Ready to Go Bald Again

by Sarah Swaim
March 4, 2016

It’s been over three years since 2012 Ambassador Sarah has seen herself bald. She’s breaking that streak on Saturday to be a shavee℠ for the third time. As a childhood cancer survivor, Sarah writes about what bravery looks like to her and what makes shaving so special this time.

Sarah and Abby in 2015

Sarah (left) smiles with Honored Kid Abby at Camp Fantastic in 2015.

I’m often asked if I’m nervous about my upcoming shave.

I can honestly say I’m not at all. After all, this will be my third time shaving my head for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation!

The usual response I get is, “You’re so brave.” But I don’t see myself as the brave one.

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