Families

Thanks to Brooks, a Heart-to-Heart Connection Benefits Kids With Childhood Cancer

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 24, 2018
Brooks

Brooks was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors when he was 5 years old. In May 2016, he passed away at home, surrounded by his family. “He did not like me to be sad,” said his mom, Tracey. “He had a caring and loving heart. He wanted everyone to be happy.”

After Ambassador Brooks got sick, he started painting – a hobby the 5-year-old had never considered before. His art was abstract and vibrant, bursting with life and joy. When he painted, it was as if he dipped his brush into his soul. A little bit of Brooks and his love was in every painting.

It was this art that St. Baldrick’s donor Mary Clency glimpsed when she was getting out of her car at the local craft store – a woman was carrying two bags emblazoned with these colorful paintings. Immediately, Mary knew exactly who it was. The woman was Brooks’ mom, Tracey Blackmore, someone Mary had held in her heart for years, but had never met.

Brooks had brought them together.

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Advocacy

St. Baldrick’s Advocate of the Month: Ron Rozman

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 27, 2017

Honored Kid Amanda was just a year old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and only a toddler when she died. This is why her dad, Ron Rozman, advocates for kids’ cancer research — so other parents and kids don’t ever have to endure the cruelties of childhood cancer. Read on for more about his exuberant girl, her tough fight and his advice on how you can become an advocate, no matter where you live.

Ron and Michelle Rozman cuddle with their daughter Amanda

Ron and Michelle Rozman cuddle and laugh with their daughter Amanda during a day at the park.

She loved to dance. Three-year-old Amanda twirling around and exclaiming, “Whee! Whee!” in sheer delight is a precious memory for Ron and Michelle Rozman.

It’s one of many favorite remembrances of their then-only child who was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma when she was 16 months old.

It is these memories that now fuel Ron’s dedicated efforts as an advocate for pediatric cancer research funding.

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Families

If Only There Had Been a Cure in Time for David

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 5, 2017

Honored Kid David was bright, charming and totally dedicated to embracing life. He also had childhood cancer. David asked his family to fight for a cure — a cure that didn’t come soon enough for him. Read on to learn more about this spectacular 10-year-old, his childhood cancer journey and why his mom, Susan, is passionate about research.

David with his mom Susan at an event

David hugs his mom, Susan, at a fundraising event.

Who would David be if he had grown up?

His mom can’t help but wonder. If he’d lived, he’d be a teenager now.

Would he still have that obsession with colorful skinny jeans? Would that cello he insisted upon getting still be gathering dust? Would he still be that bubbly, charismatic kid she remembers?

What if childhood cancer research hadn’t failed him?

That’s what Susan Heard wonders.

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Families

Family Boosts Kids’ Cancer Research in Honor of Daughter [VIDEO]

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 23, 2017

Ever since Joe and Erin Martorano’s daughter Sara was diagnosed with childhood cancer, St. Baldrick’s has been part of the family. From shaving to organizing events and starting a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, they’ve done it all. Read on to find out why.

the Martorano family

The Martorano family smiles together during Sara’s treatment for cancer. From left to right: Anna, Erin, Mary, Joe and Sara.

Joe Martorano first shaved his head with St. Baldrick’s in 2008, alongside his colleagues at the Chicago Police Department. He didn’t have a direct connection to childhood cancer at the time. Fundraising for kids’ cancer research just seemed like the right thing to do.

Later that year, that would all change.

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Families

Through Research My Son’s Star Still Shines Bright

by Judy Sanders
August 8, 2017

Diagnosed with a rare sarcoma when he was a toddler, Honored Kid Alan passed away five years ago. With his chubby-cheeked grin and bright personality, the 2014 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador has inspired all of us — and as his mom writes in this blog, Alan’s impact continues to be felt in a big, brilliant way. Read on to learn how…

Dr. Nino Rainusso and the Sanders family

Dr. Nino Rainusso meets with Alan’s family, plus Hilly the bear, a stuffed panda purchased in Washington D.C. to represent Alan’s lost opportunities.

Four years ago, we established a Hero Fund with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise money for sarcoma research in Alan’s memory. Last July we were thrilled to share that the fundraising we had done through Alan’s Sarcoma Research Fund had given us the opportunity to name a grant.

Dr. Nino Rainusso of Baylor College of Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital would be named the Alan’s Sarcoma Research Fund St. Baldrick’s Scholar for his work in identifying and examining the most difficult-to-treat cancer cells from patients at Texas Children’s.

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Do What You Want

Honoring Holden With a St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser on Four Wheels

by Miriam Gilkinson
July 24, 2017

Miriam’s son Holden was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilms tumor in 2010. Now, three years after his death, Miriam thinks of her son whenever she hops into her car. Why? Read on to find out how Miriam has turned something we see every day into a memorial for her son and a unique fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

Holden

In October 2010, St. Baldrick’s 2016 Ambassador Holden was diagnosed with Wilms tumor. He lost his left kidney and endured intense chemo and radiation treatment. Holden showed no evidence of disease for about a year, but then a tumor was found on his other kidney. Before he could receive a kidney transplant, cancer was found in his lung.

In 2012, we celebrated a year of remission for our son Holden with our first head-shaving fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Several months after that event, Holden was back in treatment for the same cancer on his other kidney. When cancer stole him from us in May 2014, we decided that a Hero Fund with St. Baldrick’s was the best way to honor Holden’s memory and work to fund research. We have organized head-shaving events and Do What You Want fundraisers since then, and we are always looking to do more.

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Families

Staying Hopeful in the Face of Bad News: An Update on Daisy

by Natalie Walsh
June 23, 2017

It seems like only a short time ago that we were celebrating clear scans. It was January 2016 and our daughter Daisy had been given the gift of life. We now find ourselves in the midst of a nightmare.

Daisy plays on a swing

2015 Ambassador Daisy was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer, when she was just 6 years old.

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Families

Happiness is a Form of Courage

by Tracey Blackmore
May 17, 2017

Tracey Blackmore lost her son Brooks to brain cancer last year. In this guest blog, she describes how she both grieves for her little boy and gives back in his honor.

Tracey and her son Brooks

Tracey and Brooks laugh together.

There are so many different ways to deal with the grief of losing a child.  There is no “right” way, but I knew what MY way had to be.  I knew I had to wake up everyday and choose happiness in my son’s honor.

Brooks Blackmore was only 5 years old when he was diagnosed with two stage 4 brain tumors on June 13, 2015.  We were told that they were inoperable, there was no cure and radiation was the only hope to prolong his life.

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Families

Childhood Cancer Stories: My Day With Ryan [PHOTO ESSAY]

by Alison Sutton, St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 13, 2017

Honored Kid Ryan C. faces childhood cancer with a contagiously positive attitude — and our social media manager, Alison Sutton, got to experience this firsthand when she hung out with him last month! Read on to see what life is like for Ryan and bask in the glow of this amazing kid, his awesome family, and their St. Baldrick’s fundraising team — Team Rally for Ryan.

Ryan smiles

St Patrick’s Day is a special day at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation because 17 years ago, our founders hosted their first head-shaving event!

This St. Patrick’s Day I spent the day at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla. with Honored Kid Ryan C. to see what a day in his life is like.

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Families

Here’s Why We Love Our Hero Fund

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 22, 2015

Did you know? Hero Funds raised more than $1.8 million for lifesaving childhood cancer research in 2015! We checked in with some of these families to see what fuels their fundraising fire. Here’s what they had to say.

Hero Funds

Just a few of our Hero Funds. See them all >

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