Do What You Want

How I Celebrate My Son on Two Wheels

by Susan Heard
May 14, 2015

Every year in honor of her son David’s birthday, Susan rides the 40-mile New York City Five Boro Bike Tour. This year, with their feet on the pedals, the wind at their backs (and sometimes their fronts), and 32,000 people riding alongside them, Susan and her friends raised over $4,000 for the David’s Warriors Hero Fund. Susan explains what the ride means to her.

Susan and her cycling friends in front of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge during the Five Boro Bike Tour.

Susan and her cycling friends in front of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.

In 2009 as our son, David, was battling neuroblastoma, one of his incredible Cub Scout leaders rode the New York City Five Boro Bike Tour in David’s honor. It’s a 40-mile ride touching each borough in the city, complete with amazing street music, skyline views that take your breath away, and an opportunity to feel the beat of the city in a way that is just spectacular.

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JJ’s Angels, Part 2: Celebrating Juliana Every Year

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 27, 2015

This is part two of a two-part series where Mike LaMonica talks about his daughter JJ, the Hero Fund that carries her name, and why this weekend is so special to him. Read part one >

Photos of smiling Juliana
Mike LaMonica hasn’t missed his local St. Baldrick’s event once since his daughter Juliana, or JJ, passed away in July 2010. This will be his fifth year captaining the JJ’s Angels St. Baldrick’s team, and for the fifth time, he’ll be shaving his head alongside friends, family, colleagues and neighbors who have been touched by Juliana’s story.

“When I go to the St. Baldrick’s event at Kitty Hoyne’s, it’s like a holiday to me,” Mike said. “I’m surrounded by people who are so passionate and just support me. I feel like I am lifted up — I don’t know how else to describe it.”

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JJ’s Angels, Part 1: Juliana’s Childhood Cancer Story

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 27, 2015

This is part one of a two-part series where Mike LaMonica talks about his daughter JJ, the Hero Fund that carries her name, and why this weekend is so special to him.

Juliana before she was diagnosed with pediatric leukemia
It was midnight on a Friday in November 2009 when Mike LaMonica heard a knock on his front door. He opened it to see his family’s pediatrician.

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Teens & Young Adults

Remembering Asaph ‘Ace’ Schwapp: A Big Man With a Bigger Heart

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 5, 2015

When Asaph Schwapp — known to many as “Ace” — passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his friend and Notre Dame football teammate vowed to do something big to honor him. And so the Tough as Ace Hero Fund was born. Learn more about St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds.

Ace's friends flex in their Tough as Ace jerseys bearing Ace's football jersey number at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Ace’s friends competed in a triathlon to raise money for childhood cancer research in honor of Ace. Their jerseys bear Ace’s football jersey number.

Mike Anello still remembers his first encounter with Asaph Schwapp. It was Mike’s first football practice as a freshman at Notre Dame University and he was running down the football field, headed toward the small spot between Ace and another equally hulking player ready to block him.

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A Small World Moment at the Think Tank

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Mission Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 17, 2014

St. Baldrick’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, Becky Weaver, explains how a timely email led to a big realization. Join us and make a difference for kids with cancer. See ways to get involved.

St. Baldrick's logo

November marked my 10th year with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And how much has changed since that time!

Back then, we were excited to give over $3 million to support one large grant to the Children’s Oncology Group and our first St. Baldrick’s Fellow, Dr. Sharon Singh.

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A Lifetime of Laughter, Joy, and Love: Holden’s Story

by Miriam Gilkinson
November 6, 2014

Holden loved every minute of his almost-seven years of life. Now, his family and friends are raising money for childhood cancer research to help other kids like him. His mom, Miriam, tells his story.

Holden smiling

Holden was 3 when he was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a type of childhood cancer.

In September 2010 Holden got a sudden severe stomachache that progressed from “stomach bug” to “constipation” to what we later learned was a large Wilms tumor on his left kidney.

At first the oncologists told us, “If your child has to get a cancer, this is the best one,” though I would never put the words “best” and “cancer” in the same thought as my son. Pathology results later showed Holden had stage IV Wilms tumor with “diffuse anaplasia,” or “unfavorable histology.” The thumbnail sketch is that it is an all-or-nothing battle, and there is not a second chance if you don’t win with your first offense.

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Do What You Want

Kerri Swims Around Key West for Kids With Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 13, 2014

What do childhood cancer and a man-eating shark have in common? One special fundraiser.


Kerri Kanuga is swimming 12.5 miles around the coast of Key West to raise money for St. Baldrick’s in honor of 6-year-old Hannah Meeson.

Kerri Kanuga is getting ready to compete in the 38th annual Swim Around Key West in Florida. She is raising money for Heroes for Hannah, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund created in honor of Hannah Meeson, a 6-year-old girl from the Cayman Islands who is battling brain cancer.

Kerri said she thinks about Hannah every day. But when she’s not thinking about Hannah, her mind is on Katherine — a 2,300-pound great white who has been tracked swimming near the open-water race course.

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Do What You Want

Running for Gold: A Heroes for Hannah Fundraiser

by Nikki Callender
April 2, 2014

Three Cayman Islands moms ran a half marathon to raise money for children’s cancer research in honor of Hannah, a 6-year-old girl battling medulloblastoma. Start your own fundraiser to help kids with cancer!

Hannah inspired three moms to run a half marathon and raise money for kids’ cancer research.

There are two things you should know about me: I’m not a morning person and I’m not a runner.

As the mother of two young children who are not the world’s greatest sleepers, it feels deeply counter-intuitive to struggle from my duvet during the hours of darkness when I’m not being beckoned from my sleep by a small, distressed voice.

And running — well, it’s hard work, isn’t it? Particularly when it’s 80 degrees at 5 a.m. and the humidity makes it feel closer to 95.

So, it would take something pretty big to will me from my king-size slumber and run.

It was. I met a child with cancer.

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The Sanders Family Launches a Hero Fund to Cure Childhood Cancer [PHOTO ESSAY]

by Judy Sanders
October 17, 2013

Harold and Judy Sanders, with their son, Kevin, started a Hero Fund in honor of Alan (affectionately known as “Mister Cheeks”) who passed away from childhood cancer at the age of 5. On September 22, 2013, the Sanders family invited their friends to join them in launching Alan’s Hero Fund at a rocket launch fundraiser. Judy recounts the day with photographs by Julie Kelley.

We were so happy to be able to establish Alan’s Hero Fund this summer as a way to commemorate his life and continue his fight. Though we had participated in a couple of head-shaving events since we lost Alan in January, we wanted to do something to mark the creation of this fund, something that was more personal to our family and to Alan’s life.

One thing we often did as a family, and often with friends, was launch model rockets. Alan enjoyed the opportunities to wander the open fields and because he loved numbers so much, he always looked forward to the countdown to each launch. A model rocket launch event was a perfect choice for launching this Hero Fund.

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Heroes for Hannah: Cayman Islands Community Comes Together to Cure Childhood Cancer

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
October 9, 2013


Hannah with her parents, Nigel and Gaylene. Hannah is 6 years old and battling anaplastic medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

If you want an example of just how much can be achieved when an entire community comes together in support of a common cause, look at what happened last month in the Cayman Islands.

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