As we close a difficult year, we reflect on lessons shared by childhood cancer patients and survivors who have faced adversity with grace, courage, and resilience. From their words, come some messages worth remembering now.St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid, Sarah Swaim, and two-time leukemia survivor shares how having support during her cancer diagnosis helped her to keep going.
This was written by Hudson’s mom, Jessica McKearney.
I work as a Nurse Practitioner and Kyle works as a Project Manager. We live in a small town in Northeast Iowa. Before March 2019, Hudson was an energetic, Mickey Mouse and car loving toddler. He was spirited, happy, loved to dance and kept us on our toes. In November 2018, Hudson became a big brother to his sister Violet. Two under two was exciting and exhausting. Hudson was caring, empathetic, and always wanted to be with Violet. They had an incredible bond, and we were grateful to have two happy and healthy toddlers.
That’s how Dr. Olivier Ayrault described the loss of two school friends to cancer when he was growing up. The experience left an indelible imprint on him and he believes set his course in life to do something to fight cancer.
Raman Bahal, Ph.D., a St. Baldrick’s Research Grant recipient at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, explains Burkitt Lymphoma symptoms, treatment options, and research opportunities.
In the St. Baldrick’s Foundation community, John Bender has been a catalyst for raising funds in support of lifesaving childhood cancer research and clinical trials.
In 1999, he was one of three reinsurance executives – along with Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell – who made head shaving part of their mission to find better treatments and eventually a cure for kids’ cancers. Today, as a co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, John remains a major part of the organization and an inspiration to those who have taken up this vital cause.
That’s why, with the twentieth year of head shaving upon us, we asked John to share his thoughts on two decades of fighting childhood cancers.
It might seem that Department of Defense technology that’s used to detect explosives might not have any use in diagnosing childhood cancers. But, if you ask St. Baldrick’s Foundation “Rockstar Researcher” Dr. Bruce Shiramizu, this technology has real potential to help patients, parents, caregivers, and the cancer community.
It’s why this Hawaii-based doctor, who has worked on the mainland at the University of California San Francisco and at the National Institutes of Health, is so passionate about his research work and what it might be able to do for children throughout the world. This veteran researcher has shaved his head multiple times for St. Baldrick’s – that’s one definition of a “Rockstar Researcher” – and his body of work speaks volumes.
It’s time once again to join the fight against childhood cancers by funding research and clinical trials that can stop this disease from taking more lives.
You may be a past participant or someone who’s been on the fence about joining a head-shave event. Regardless of your past involvement, we urge you to join our fight to take childhood back from cancer.
For the 11th consecutive year, Dr. Alex Huang will be shaving his head for kids’ cancer research. A pediatric oncologist and professor at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and the Angie Fowler AYA Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, he’s no stranger to the fight against childhood cancers.
In fact, as an accomplished cancer fighter who’s dedicated time – and hair! – to helping raise money for childhood cancer research, he’s the very definition of a “Rockstar Shavee”.
Dr. Alex Huang, winner of a St. Baldrick’s Innovation Award, will shave his head for an 11th time this year.
The League of Legendary Heroes is an order of dedicated volunteers who’ve participated in St. Baldrick’s Foundation events for three or more years. Each year, St. Baldrick’s names a League Champion to lead and inspire this group to raise money for lifesaving childhood cancer research.
Georgia Moore, our newest League Champion of the League of Legendary Heroes, just celebrated her 19th birthday on Dec. 30. The following day, New Year’s Eve, marked nine years since Georgia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Our 2019 League Champion, Georgia Moore (third from left), appears with her family at Tufts University.
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