Kids Are Not Little Adults: Researcher Studies Differences in AML Across Age Groups

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 26, 2016

Kids are special, and that’s why they need treatments made just for them. St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Heather Schuback agrees. She’s looking at the very building blocks of acute myeloid leukemia cells to spot differences that could help kids get the targeted therapy they need.

Dr. Heather Schuback at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Heather Schuback works in the lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

Kids are not just little adults, says St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Heather Schuback.

That means their cancers aren’t just smaller, younger versions of adult cancers. They are fundamentally different.

Dr. Schuback should know. Her St. Baldrick’s-funded research is looking at how changes in the DNA of tumor cells can predict who will do well during treatment and who won’t. This information could help doctors tailor therapies from the start, getting kids just the right amount of treatment to kill the cancer, while limiting late-effects.

But these differences aren’t limited to which kids will respond well to treatment and which won’t. It’s bigger than that.

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‘Imagine What It’s Like’: Carlos Takes His Story to Capitol Hill

by Carlos Sandi
May 17, 2016

Yesterday, Ambassador Phineas’ dad, Carlos, joined more than 200 childhood cancer advocates on Capitol Hill to drum up support in Washington for kids with cancer. He opened up about what it’s like to have two children diagnosed with cancer, how research saved his son’s life, and why he won’t stop telling his family’s story. Read his powerful speech below.

Carlos and Phineas Sandi

Carlos with his son, Phineas. Phineas was diagnosed with cancer when he was 4, six years after his sister Althea died of childhood cancer.

I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but like most of my neighbors, I’m not actually from North Carolina. Chapel Hill is a college town where new people come and go every year.

Whenever my wife and I meet people for the first time, one of the first questions we get asked is, “So, how did you end up in Chapel Hill?”

When I hear that question, I always freeze for a second because I have to decide carefully how I want to answer.

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Kids with Cancer

The 3rd Anniversary of Phineas’ Childhood Cancer Diagnosis

by Tina Sandi
March 28, 2016

Ambassador Phineas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2013. He’s alive today because of research funded by St. Baldrick’s. His mom, Tina, shares how their family will be spending his three-year diagnosis anniversary.

Phineas and Sandi family

The Sandi Family (left to right): Fiona, Carlos, Phineas and Tina.

On March 28, 2013, we found out that our 4-year-old son, Phineas, had cancer. It was a terrible day — but heartbreakingly familiar.

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Bigger Than Our Differences: Rabbi and Imam Bridge Divides to Help Kids With Cancer

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 4, 2015

For years, Rabbi Vered Harris and Imam Imad Enchassi have stood together in support of peace, love and respect. Now, they’re working together to help kids with cancer. Last week, as Rabbi Harris fundraised ahead of her shave for St. Baldrick’s, the imam had a surprise for her. Read on to find out more!

Imam Enchassi and Rabbi Harris stand together with other faith leaders at an interfaith meeting

Imam Imad Enchassi, second from left, and Rabbi Vered Harris stand together with attendees at an interfaith prayer service for Syrian refugees.

Rabbi Vered Harris was dumbstruck as she read a text from Imam Imad Enchassi. She had expected the imam to donate to her shave for St. Baldrick’s, but not like this.

Without telling her, Imam Enchassi had spread the word about her shave to members of the Muslim community of Oklahoma City. They rallied to the childhood cancer cause, raising $3,600 for the rabbi’s shave in just a day and a half — filling her entire fundraising goal in one fell swoop.

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10,000 Kisses: Father’s Day Without Sammy

by Michael Sommer
June 19, 2015

As Father’s Day approaches, Ambassador Sam’s dad, Michael, remembers his son and how he inspired him to be the best dad he could be.

Michael, David, and Sam

Michael with his two oldest sons, Sammy (left) and David, in August 2013.

Father’s Day has never been that important to me. I don’t really believe in Hallmark holidays when we should appreciate the people and parents in our lives every day. All I know is I try to be the best father I can be, and some days I succeed and some days I fail.

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Because Research ‘Saved My Sister’s Life’: Jack Shaves For Kids With Cancer

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 10, 2015

Twelve-year-old Jack is shaving in honor of his hero — his sister, Chloe. The little girl, nicknamed Coco, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) before she turned 2 years old. She also has Down syndrome. Now, Coco is in remission and just as peppy and smiley as ever. “She’s really fun to play with and funny,” Jack said. “She makes me laugh.”

Jack is shaving his head in honor of his little sister Coco.

Jack is shaving his head and raising money in honor of his little sister Coco, who is in remission after fighting AML.

Help Jack raise funds for childhood cancer research! Donate on his shavee page >

When he heard that he was going to have a sibling, Jack wanted a baby brother. But five years later, he doesn’t mind that he got a baby sister instead.

“They are just best buddies, those two,” said their mom, Beth.

Jack and his little sister Coco like shooting Nerf guns together, eating ice cream and playing hide-and-seek.

(Jack said a typical game goes something like this: “If I say, ‘Where are you?’ she says, ‘Over here!'”)

When Coco was in the hospital, he would play Barbies with her.

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JJ’s Angels, Part 2: Celebrating Juliana Every Year

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 27, 2015

This is part two of a two-part series where Mike LaMonica talks about his daughter JJ, the Hero Fund that carries her name, and why this weekend is so special to him. Read part one >

Photos of smiling Juliana
Mike LaMonica hasn’t missed his local St. Baldrick’s event once since his daughter Juliana, or JJ, passed away in July 2010. This will be his fifth year captaining the JJ’s Angels St. Baldrick’s team, and for the fifth time, he’ll be shaving his head alongside friends, family, colleagues and neighbors who have been touched by Juliana’s story.

“When I go to the St. Baldrick’s event at Kitty Hoyne’s, it’s like a holiday to me,” Mike said. “I’m surrounded by people who are so passionate and just support me. I feel like I am lifted up — I don’t know how else to describe it.”

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JJ’s Angels, Part 1: Juliana’s Childhood Cancer Story

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 27, 2015

This is part one of a two-part series where Mike LaMonica talks about his daughter JJ, the Hero Fund that carries her name, and why this weekend is so special to him.

Juliana before she was diagnosed with pediatric leukemia
It was midnight on a Friday in November 2009 when Mike LaMonica heard a knock on his front door. He opened it to see his family’s pediatrician.

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‘This Is Not Acceptable’: How My Son’s Treatment for Cancer Caused Cancer

by Jim Kendall
January 14, 2015

Clayton was diagnosed with cancer at just 2 years old, but the very treatment that saved his life also put his life at risk. His dad, Jim, tells the story.

Clayton at the time of his first diagnosis.

Clayton at the time of his first diagnosis.

On June 3, 2009, my wife and I sat in a small hospital room surrounded by our family, as a group of doctors and social workers came into the room to give us the news we knew was coming, but desperately hoped wouldn’t. Our 2 ½-year-old son, Clayton, had childhood cancer.

Learn more about childhood cancer >

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Kids with Cancer

Meet Sam

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 7, 2015

Eight-year-old Sam loved all holidays. But being in treatment for acute myeloid leukemia made it difficult for him to celebrate his favorites — his birthday, Purim, Chanukah, and Halloween.

Ambassador Sam

His parents, Phyllis and Michael, both rabbis, made Sam’s last Chanukah a very special one. Sam had talked about having a fireworks show for his funeral. Instead, they had fireworks to celebrate the Festival of Lights and their vibrant son.

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