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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Families

When Things Don’t Go As Planned: Avery’s Unexpected Turn

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 8, 2016

In our last update on 2013 Ambassador Avery, she was participating in a clinical trial to treat her brain tumor. Today, she’s off the trial and back home on hospice care. Here’s an update on the next chapter in Avery’s story.

Ambassador Avery headshot

2013 Ambassador Avery was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011.

At the end of last year, after living with a stable brain tumor for two and a half years, 13-year-old Avery was back in the fight against childhood cancer.

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Families

When There Is No Relief: An Excerpt From Ellie Ewoldt’s ‘Chase Away Cancer,’ Part 2

by Ellie Ewoldt
June 1, 2016

This is part two of an excerpt from 2015 Ambassador Chase’s mom’s new book, “Chase Away Cancer.” Read along as she gives an inside look into their family’s life during Chase’s childhood cancer treatment, and then head over to our shop to grab a copy of her book so you can read the rest. 100% of the proceeds from books bought on our shop will help us fund childhood cancer research!

Chase, Ellie, and Bob together

Chase with his parents, Ellie and Bob. Chase was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) when he was 2 years old.

Missed part 1? Read it here >

Much later, as the night-shift nurses crept into the room, giving medicine and checking on Chase, the usually familiar, comforting sounds changed.

The nurses’ movements became more urgent, and then through a sleep-induced fog, I heard the snap of a switch and light flooded the room.

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Families

When Hospital Becomes Home: An Excerpt From Ellie Ewoldt’s ‘Chase Away Cancer,’ Part 1

by Ellie Ewoldt
May 31, 2016

If you’re like us and you fell in love with Chase as soon as you read his story, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of his mom’s new book, “Chase Away Cancer.” Read the passage below about Chase’s second day of radiation, and then head over to the St. Baldrick’s shop to buy a copy and read the rest. 100% of your purchase through this link will help us fund lifesaving childhood cancer research.

Ellie and Chase sitting together and laughing

Chase was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) when he was 2. Now, he’s 6 years old and stable.

Despite medical intervention, Chase’s fever continued to rise and his heart rate wouldn’t come down. The doctors came and went, talking to us and then stepping out in the hall to phone Chase’s other doctors and make plans.

Chase himself was in fairly good spirits as he’d been given stickers and a comfortable, soft pair of yellow hospital pants, but monitors don’t lie. His heart rate was staying way too high while the fever hovered around 104.

After repeated sessions of consulting with us and stepping into the hallway to get on the phone with Dr. Lulla and Chase’s team, all the white coats concurred: Chase needed to “go home.”

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Advocacy

‘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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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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Families

What Being a Mother Means to This Cancer Mom

by Stephanie Driscoll
May 6, 2016

2013 Ambassador Avery has been fighting a brain tumor since she was 8. Her mom, Stephanie, has been by her side every step of the way. Read what Stephanie has to say about how childhood cancer has changed her job as a mom.

The Driscoll Family at Disneyland

Stephanie smiles with her husband and four children on a recent trip to Disneyland.

I always wanted to be a mom, and I have always taken my role as a mother to heart. But now, I’m an advocate for my kids, too.

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