‘Together We Are Better’: St. Baldrick’s and McKenna Claire Foundation Fund Pediatric Brain Tumor Research
The McKenna Claire Foundation is supporting a St. Baldrick’s research grant to help kids with brain tumors. Kristine, whose daughter McKenna died of a brain tumor, explains why. See all the 2014 Summer Grants.
Kristine with her daughter McKenna. McKenna was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January 2011 and died six months later.
Upon diagnosis, we were told that there was no hope for her survival and that the average life expectancy was 9-18 months. Because it is so rare, there had been little research done on this disease in the past 50 years, with virtually no change in treatment protocols or life expectancy.
For that reason, when we lost McKenna just six short months after diagnosis, we decided to do two things.
The first was to donate her tumor to Monje Lab at Stanford University, where a cell line was developed for use by researchers around the world. The second was to start a foundation in her name with the specific purpose of supporting progress in the field of pediatric brain cancer research.
It’s the biggest grants release of the year: the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Summer Grants. This year, the announcement is bigger than ever! Don’t miss the video where we surprise some of our researchers with the exciting news. To see the research St. Baldrick’s is funding near you, visit our Grants Search.
You have made 2014 a record-breaking year.
In addition to helping St. Baldrick’s break a world record for head-shaving, this year our incredible St. Baldrick’s volunteers have raised more money for childhood cancer research than ever before — an amazing feat!
All of that hard work is paying off today, as we announce our annual Summer Grants. This is our biggest grant release of the year, and 2014 is a milestone for us all, as we give over $24.7 million in children’s cancer research grants — more than any year prior.
We surprised a few recipients of our 2014 Summer Grants with some exciting news — and we caught it all on video.
This is one of the most anticipated times of the year at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation: the time when we are able to turn generously given donations over to the hands of the world’s best childhood cancer researchers.
This year, we added a little twist.
We told these researchers we had one final video interview for them before we would announce our funding decisions.
Watch the video and you’ll see — we tricked them. But it was worth it.
At a time when the federal government is tightening its budget, childhood cancer research funding is growing increasingly scarce.
Here at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, we’re working hard to fill the funding gap — and we couldn’t do it without you.
Our dedicated grantees appreciate every hour, hair, and dollar you sacrifice to help them help kids with cancer. Here’s what some of them had to say.
What is medulloblastoma?
Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. It originates in the back part of the brain called the cerebellum. In up to 1/3 of cases, it can spread to other parts of the brain and spinal cord.
Most cases are diagnosed before age 10.
There is something more exciting than barbecues, beach balls, and sprinklers in the summertime at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Every summer, childhood cancer research grants are awarded to the best and most-promising researchers and institutions in the world — bringing us one step closer to a cure for childhood cancers.
Here’s how our grant funding cycles work:
Dr. Choo is also a St. Baldrick’s Fellow, having received a two-year, $123,149 grant for her pediatric oncology research focused on Ewing sarcoma, a bone and soft tissue cancer that occurs in adolescents and young adults.
Dr. Anur Praveen, Dr. Kevin J. Curran, and Dr. Liora Schulz
Helping to announce this shearly fantastic news is (from left to right): Anur Praveen, M.D., AVM Traders St. Badrick’s Fellow; Kevin J. Curran, M.D., St. Baldrick’s Scholar; and Liora Schultz, M.D., Markit St. Baldrick’s Fellow.
While shavees and volunteers are raising funds to be used for grants, researchers are making their way through a rigorous grant application process. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation had over 100 reviewers from the pediatric hematology and oncology community review grants in 2012.
Each application is reviewed by at least three pediatric hematology/oncology researchers, using the same rating system used by the National Cancer Institute. If all three reviewers give an application an excellent score, it’s recommended for funding. (A poor score from all three means it’s not recommended.) If the scores vary or are not decisive, the application goes to a larger committee of reviewers to discuss and vote on a final score.
St. Baldrick’s Fellowship awards begin after a new doctor has had at least one year of clinical training to become a pediatric oncology researcher. These grants fund two years of research under the guidance of an expert mentor, after which Fellows demonstrating a high degree of success and commitment may apply for one additional year of research funding. This year 20 new St. Baldrick’s Fellow awards were granted, and one was granted an additional year of funding, totaling more than $3.4 million.
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