Meet Honored Kids Who Engage with St. Baldrick’s
It’s likely that your first exposure to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation was through a head-shaving event. (After all, the original idea was to get a bunch of executives together to shave their heads around St. Patrick’s Day, raising money for pediatric cancer research.) While head-shaving events remain the foundation’s main form of fundraising, they are just one of many ways to get involved.
Before we look at how a few Honored Kids and their families are making an impact on childhood cancer research through St. Baldrick’s, we should first define the term. An “Honored Kid” is any child, adolescent, or young adult (AYA) who has faced a cancer diagnosis; the more than 5,800 Honored Kids featured on our website bring hope and inspiration to volunteers and supporters of St. Baldrick’s. Once registered as an Honored Kid, each child receives their own page on the website to tell their story. Now, time to be inspired by some remarkable Honored Kids.
Harper Brings Her Advocacy from Hawaii to DC
Nine-year old Harper was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in July of 2017 and has finished treatment. She’s sharing her first-hand experience to inspire dialogue with Members of Congress about the critical need for funding pediatric cancer research. She recently joined the 46 Mommas’ 10th Anniversary event on Capitol Hill; along with her mom, Erin, Harper played a role in helping the group exceed its fundraising goal by more than $37,000.
Brody Shaves His Head and Aims for Donations from All 50 States
Brody, who is in remission after being treated for a brain tumor, shaved for the 4th time this year. He worked with his mom to create a “50 Shades of Green” campaign aiming to get donations from all 50 states — and has succeeded! They were able to exceed their original fundraising goal of $13,000 – Brody picked $13,000 because he’s 13 years old – by raising $15,000 and counting.
Benny Rallies His Friends and Community Through a Hero Fund
Benny’s story is unimaginable: as a 6th grader, he decided to shave his head for St. Baldrick’s as part of a schoolwide event, becoming the top fundraiser in his class. Eleven days later, doctors diagnosed Benny with medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor.
He shaved his head again this year, three years after his diagnosis – and Benny’s Hero Fund has, so far, raised more than $400,000 – with Benny rallying his classmates and making the news to get people motivated.
Mitchell Leads the Way as a Volunteer
Mitchell is no stranger to St. Baldrick’s events, having been involved since 2014. He was treated for a brain tumor in 2010 and has been in remission for four years. This year, he volunteered at a head shaving event near his Virginia home, with his team, Team Mitchee , raising over $10,000 to help fund more cures and less toxic treatments for other kids with cancer.
Mitchell has less than one year to go to reach the five-year milestone that will proclaim him ‘cancer free’. He stays incredibly busy with tennis, percussion, skiing and learning computer coding. His dad, Todd, said, “We are so excited by every minute spent with this wonderful kid. He is certainly living life to its fullest!”
Honoring Julia’s Legacy (One “Do What You Want ” Ice Cream Sale at a Time)
Julia Janes was first diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at age 16. Her treatment caused a secondary cancer and years later she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Sadly, she passed away at age 20. Before dying, this academic powerhouse was named Freshman Student of the Year at Bradley University, where she galvanized support for childhood cancer.
To carry on her legacy, her parents Jeff and Leslie Janes created the Julia’s Legacy of Hope Hero Fund which has raised more than $230,000 to date. On August 25th they hosted their 2nd annual Back to School Ice Cream Social fundraiser. This give back day is one of the many ways the family raises funds to support childhood cancer research.
Honored Kids Inspiring Change Around the World
One thing these and all Honored Kids have done is inspire – whether they are still facing cancer, or facing the effects of cancer treatment, or their families are allowing us all to honor the legacy of a child who has passed away, their inspiration leads others to join the fight.
Whether it’s through a unique fundraiser, or a head shave, or volunteering at an event or advocating, we can all learn from these Honored Kids as, together, we look to create a world where pediatric cancers are a thing of the past.
Join the fight against childhood cancer.