Research

Working with Charity Partners to Accelerate Progress for Kids with Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 28, 2019

Most of you know St. Baldrick’s for our signature head shaving events, where a shavee raises money and shaves their head to stand in solidarity with kids battling cancer. While these are the most visible, public events, you may not know that we work with other charities and foundations to form partnerships, allowing for more grant funding every year. Currently, we’re working with 7 different charities, and we’ve together raised upwards of $2 million as a result of those partnerships.

One such foundation, the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, has worked to see research move to clinical trials.  You can learn more about one project we’ve worked together to fund at this video.

Dr. Samuel Cheshier, at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, is leading this work, which has been funded together by the Campbells and St. Baldrick’s for a few years. He shares this development: “Since the filming of this video (this past Winter) four separate pediatric cancer clinical trials have been approved by the NIH/NCI Investigational Drug Steering Committee for further development, and the research funded by St. Baldrick’s helped make this possible.”

Why A Family Foundation Gets Involved with St. Baldrick’s

The energy and passion that a family invests in their charity to honor and memorialize their child is such a catalyst for change. The partners we have are all amazing at raising funds through creative ways that are meaningful to them and pay homage to their child. Their communities are highly involved in helping to fundraise and the success is undeniable. But HOW to invest that money most wisely is often a challenge. Cindy Campbell said they were unsure of how best to invest the money they raised and that is why they decided to partner with St. Baldrick’s. “St. Baldrick’s has an incredible Scientific Advisory Committee that is probably the most informed group on all childhood cancer research taking place today,” Cindy said. Because this group works in concert with the scientific review process to determine where grants go, having a relationship between foundations like TLCF and the committee is the type of “win/win” that benefits everyone.

When a family faces a fight like pediatric cancer, they want funding to go towards the most promising childhood cancer research, no matter where it is taking place. Families often know the best institution local to them, and they may have an idea that an institution hundreds of miles from them is doing great research. But they can’t always be sure. At St. Baldrick’s, as the largest private funder of pediatric research grants in the world, the depth of our funding portfolio is vast and connected to over 9,000 childhood cancer experts around the world. That is a lot of brain power to draw from when deciding which projects should get funded. The St. Baldrick’s Scientific Advisory Committee is second to none, and we have an unparalleled peer-review process. The centralized application process ensures equity in evaluation and scoring – which allows the most promising projects to be funded.

Allowing St. Baldrick’s to focus on the science makes it easier for our partners to focus on a promise they made to their child: To fund research that leads to new treatments. Treatments that have greater promise for a cure, fewer toxicities and even bringing new drugs to market. Unifying our voices for our shared missions helps move the needle faster. It also allows the partner to have a relationship with the researcher, as receiving research updates, touring the lab, and other meaningful interactions are part of the partnership.

Continuing to Honor Legacies

It’s especially touching for many of our partners is to find out that the researcher keeps a photo of their child in his/her office as inspiration. The goal of families who have built their own foundations is often grounded in creating a lasting memory. To know that their child is inspiring change, long after they have passed away, means so much.

Together we will achieve more and #DFYchildhoodCancers

For a list of current partners visit: https://www.stbaldricks.org/partners.  If you are interested in discussing the full partnership program, reach out to Susan Heard, Susan@StBaldricks.org. As a bereaved mom herself, there is nothing more fulfilling than working with a partner to identify research that is meaningful for a family. 

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