Families

All the Years Stolen by Childhood Cancer

by Eric Meyer
June 20, 2014

Rebecca Meyer loved princesses, her sister and brother, and the color purple. She died of a brain tumor on June 7, just hours after turning 6. Her father, Eric, shares his thoughts in the days following her passing.

Rebecca Meyer collage
She’ll never learn to read. She’ll never learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle, or to drive a car.

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Families

When Pride Gives Way to Humility: A Father’s Thoughts On His Daughter’s Shave for St. Baldrick’s

by Eric Meyer
May 29, 2014

When 10-year-old Carolyn decided to shave her head and raise money to help kids with cancer like her sister, her father recognized a sense of maturity and strength far beyond her years.

Carolyn is still raising money for childhood cancer research to help kids like her sister. Will you help?
Our eldest daughter, Carolyn, came into the world with a thick shock of dark brown hair. We joked that she was our little Troll doll. So her head had never been as bare as it was after she shaved it for St. Baldrick’s.

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News

St. Baldrick’s Researcher Blocks Pathway in Low-Grade Gliomas to Reduce Cancer Cell Growth

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 15, 2014

Scientists might have found a way to starve off cancer cells in some pediatric brain tumors. Help support childhood cancer research like this by donating today.

Previous studies have shown that a particular signaling pathway, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), is turned on in low-grade gliomas. Scientists don’t know exactly how it gets turned on, according to Eric Raabe, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatric oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a St. Baldrick’s Scholar. “It’s not just a mutation in one particular gene. There might be four or five different genes that could be mutated individually that would then lead to this pathway being turned on, and it might be different in different tumors,” he explained.

So we can’t stop the pathway from being turned on — at least not at this point. But we might be able to stop it from working, as Dr. Raabe and his team have shown in a study published in the December issue of the journal Neuro-Oncology.

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Families

Today is McKenna Claire’s Birthday

by Kristine Wetzel
August 5, 2013

McKenna-Claire-laughing
Ten years ago today you were born. We had waited for you for so long, and the day you arrived, you made our family complete.

From your very first day here on earth, you brought joy and laughter into our world. I love this picture of you because it embodies everything I think of when I think of you. You may have only been 2 weeks short of your 8th birthday when we lost you, but you already knew so much. You embraced life, loved to laugh, spent time with friends, explored the world, learned about new things.

From a young age, you knew what was important in life. You taught us so much in the short time you were here, and you continue to touch others and show them what is important, even though you are no longer physically present.

Macky, this day is the hardest to bear, and we all miss you so much. I want to be baking cupcakes and decorating the house, waiting for a gaggle of ten year old girls to come to a swim party. Instead, I sit in front of the computer, watching videos and looking at pictures of what was.

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Families

A Small Price: Cole’s Sister Shaves Her Head for Childhood Cancer Foundation

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 26, 2013

Crystal-and-Cole-childhood-cancer

Crystal with her brother, Cole, who was diagnosed with childhood cancer at the age of 8.

by Crystal Marshall

One of the most powerful memories I have about my brother is how much we liked each other’s hair — mine was long and smooth, and his was short and fuzzy due to regular buzz cuts. He would always say how mine was the softest and silkiest in the entire world, and I would rub my hand over his fuzz, saying how nice and fuzzy his head was.

After he was diagnosed and put into treatment, parts of his hair fell out. The parts that stayed he grew long and curly to hide the bald spots that embarrassed me, even though they weren’t even mine.

My brother Cole was just 8 years old when he was diagnosed with DIPG, a type of childhood brain cancer that starts in the brain stem. He was sick for about a year until he passed away in 2006, when I was 11.

A lot about that time does not make any sense, and it made even less sense back then. But I knew I had to do something to fight against the disease that stole my brother away from life.

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Families

Have Faith, Be Strong: One Family’s Childhood Cancer Story

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 29, 2013

have-faith-be-strong-collage
“Your child has cancer.” These four words are heartbreaking for the thousands of families who are affected by childhood cancer every year. For most families, to receive a cancer diagnosis for not one child, but two, is unimaginable.

This is the story of a family who faced the unthinkable and how they have stayed together through it all to embrace a family motto, “Have Faith, Be Strong.”

Jennifer Thayer tells her family’s story.

Breanna was always strong. Strong and positive. Here was my beautiful girl — my girl who loved to dance, who couldn’t wait to start kindergarten, who loved to be the boss of her three brothers — stuck in this icky place. She didn’t know how sick she was, and she didn’t act sick. “Mommy, don’t cry,” she said.

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Do What You Want

Votre Vu + St. Baldrick’s: Beautiful Partnership to Conquer Childhood Cancers

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 16, 2012

When Votre Vu founders Harold Zimmerman and Ann Brodette were approached in 2011 to support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s 46 Momma’s Shave for the Brave (a group of moms of kids with cancer who were shaving their heads in honor of the 46 children who are diagnosed with cancer every weekday), they jumped at the chance.

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Facts

What Is High-Grade Glioma?

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 27, 2012
what is high-grade glioma
What is high-grade glioma?

High-grade gliomas are a diverse group of tumors of the brain and spinal cord that occur in children of all ages. This type of childhood cancer grows rapidly and has the ability to spread through brain tissue aggressively, making it very difficult to treat.

High-grade gliomas are classified by their location and by the appearance of the tumor under microscopic examination. This classification helps to assign a prognosis for the patient, but overall prognosis is poor for all types of high-grade gliomas.

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Research

Tell Me What I Need to Do to Cure Childhood Cancer

by Lionel Chow, M.D., Ph.D.
June 27, 2012

Dr. Chow is a St. Baldrick’s Scholar studying brain tumors in children. He shares his experience treating a patient with DIPG, one of the deadliest types of childhood cancer.

child with DIPG

Joshua was diagnosed with DIPG when he was 4.

When I first met 4-year-old Joshua, he was beginning the toughest battle of his young life. What struck me immediately that day was the look in his eyes that was not one of fear, but one that said, “I’m ready for this. Tell me what I need to do.”

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