Advocacy

Teen Saved by Science Speaks Up for Kids’ Cancer Research

by Zach Swart
July 3, 2018

Back in April, Ambassador Zach was finally healthy enough after his bone marrow transplant to go out in public. What did he decide to do after that momentous milestone? He joined the hundreds of advocates speaking up for kids’ cancer research on Capitol Hill during Childhood Cancer Action Days. Here’s his recap of that trip and the big moments that have come since …

Ambassador Zach on Capitol Hill

Ambassador Zach poses for a photo in front of the United States Capitol building and its famous dome during Childhood Cancer Action Days in April.

I received a bone marrow transplant over a year ago, and I was so glad that I was healthy enough to speak on Capitol Hill this past April as a St. Baldrick’s ambassador. As an ambassador, I am a face and a voice for childhood cancer, and while in Washington, D.C., my family and I represented thousands of children and families who are affected by childhood cancer. I was lucky enough to share my story and talk about the importance of funding childhood cancer research through the STAR (the Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research) Act, the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever taken up by Congress. With the recent passage of the STAR Act, we have come so far, but we still have so far to go.

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Families

Meet Brooks

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Brooks

Brooks was only 5 years old, but he had a passion for life! He loved dance parties, Hot Wheels cars, monster trucks, Legos and video games.

His favorite holidays were Christmas and the Fourth of July, and his favorite sports were baseball and soccer. Brooks knew every pizza joint in town and loved salami sandwiches.  He enjoyed taking walks to look for rocks or shells on the beach.

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Families

Meet Julia

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Julia

When you meet Julia, you know right away there’s something special about her. Perhaps it’s her bright smile or her exuberant joy and compassion for others. But this 11-year-old girl is super!

In fact, that’s her family’s favorite nickname for her — “Supergirl Julia” — given in honor of her courage and determined spirit during her cancer journey.

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Families

Meet Zach

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Zach with a sign

Zach is a cancer warrior. He is courageous, strong and has fought cancer three times.

Diagnosed when he was 6 years old, Zach beat cancer for the first time after nearly four years of treatment. Then, at age 11, he knew it was back. Zach powered through almost three more years of treatment with a positive attitude.

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Families

Meet Maya

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Maya

Maya describes the day she was diagnosed with Wilms tumor as “the worst day ever.”

It was July 6, 2016, one month before her seventh birthday. Doctors immediately scheduled surgery to remove her left kidney, where the tumor was located. Two weeks later, Maya began her treatment plan, which included radiation and chemotherapy. But shortly after treatment started, more aggressive cancer cells were found in her tumor and Maya was placed on a more intensive chemotherapy plan.

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Families

Meet Kellan

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 2, 2018
Kellan in his wheelchair

With an irresistible laugh and the face of a cherub, 5-year-old Kellan wins the hearts of everyone he meets. No one even notices his wheelchair.

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Families

10 Reasons Why My Parents Are My Heroes

by Cheyenne D.
July 24, 2016

We asked Ambassador Cheyenne who her heroes are. Her answer? “My mom and dad.” So today, for National Parents’ Day, we asked her to tell us why — and she gave us 10 great reasons. (Number 10 is our favorite!)

Cheyenne and her parents

Cheyenne with her mom and dad, Amy and Levi.

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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

Life After Brain Cancer: Isaac’s Late Effects

by April Schippers
June 21, 2016

Ambassador Isaac finished treatment for medulloblastoma almost four years ago. But today, on the five-year anniversary of his diagnosis, the effects of childhood cancer are still evident in his everyday life. Read what his mom, April, has to say about what survivorship looks like for Isaac.

Isaac and his mom, April

People often say to me, “Move on. Let it go. He’s cancer free. We’re sick of hearing about it.”

Yes, it has been some time since Isaac finished treatment for medulloblastoma on August 24, 2012. He has made tremendous strides, and let’s face it — he’s still here and cancer free.

So why don’t I forget it? Why do I seem forever trapped in this cancer nightmare?

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Kids with Cancer

We’ll Miss You, Sweet Avery

by Jane Hoppen, Director of Family Relations, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 13, 2016

On June 13, we learned that 2013 Ambassador Avery passed away.

Ambassador Avery in her photoshoot

In loving memory of sweet Avery, forever 13.

“She was peaceful and calm,” wrote her mom, Stephanie, on the Fabulous Team Avery Facebook group earlier today.

Even though we knew Avery was on hospice, the words felt like a sucker punch to the gut. No amount of preparation could have prepared us for the news that childhood cancer claimed the life of a fabulous kid like Avery.

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