What Is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

by Matthew Barth, M.D.
February 9, 2015
What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Dr. Matthew Barth is a St. Baldrick’s Scholar at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. He is studying ways to help kids with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who don’t respond to treatment.

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of white blood cells called lymphocytes. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma generally involves the lymph nodes, but can also involve many other organs, including the bones, bone marrow, liver, spleen, brain and skin.

There are many types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Children tend to have more aggressive forms of the disease, while adults frequently have less aggressive forms. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is very rare in children younger than 3 years old and is seen more often in adolescents.

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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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What It’s Like to Be a Mom of a Child With Cancer

by Leslie Jermainne
January 8, 2015

Leslie shares her thoughts before her first shave last year with the 46 Mommas.


Leslie with her son, Brian, before shaving her head with the 46 Mommas. Brian is in remission from Hodgkin lymphoma.

Why am I shaving my head? I guess you could say I’m shaving for three people.

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Kids with Cancer

Meet Aaron

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 7, 2015

Aaron was always the picture of health. Then at 15, the avid athlete was diagnosed with Burkitt non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Aaron wasn’t unfamiliar with childhood cancer. He had been a St. Baldrick’s shavee since the age of 11 and even created a team called the Bald Buddies.

Ambassador Aaron and his family proudly displays a 'Team Aaron' banner.

Ambassador Aaron, his dad, Gregory, his mom, Dana, and his sister, Rita, proudly display the Team Aaron banner.

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The Day I Took My Life Back From Childhood Cancer

by Leslie Jermainne
December 8, 2014

Leslie recounts how her life changed when her son was diagnosed with childhood cancer, and how her shave with the 46 Mommas helped her regain control. Donate on Leslie’s head.

Leslie Jermainne and her son Brian after she shaved her head at the 46 Mommas head-shaving event in July

Leslie Jermainne and her son, Brian, after she shaved her head at the 46 Mommas head-shaving event in July.

On April 18, 2013, a man I had seen only two times stood over me and said the worst words I have ever heard. “Your son has lymphoma.”

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‘We Can Be Bald With Her’: Natalie’s Family Shaves for a Cure

by Tarah Wright
November 3, 2014

Natalie, one of our Honored Kids, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in September 2013. When the first-grader lost her hair during treatment, she wasn’t alone. Her whole family, including her 4-year-old sister, went bald with her. Her mother, Tarah, explains.

When Natalie lost her hair, her family went bald with her

Natalie’s family shaved their heads for childhood cancer research at a St. Baldrick’s event in Florida. From left to right (top): David, Tarah, Fred (Pawpaw) and Carolyn (Nanny); Left to right (bottom): John, Natalie, Evelyn and Eliza Jane. Photograph by Renee Jacobsen

My daughter Natalie was a perfectly normal, healthy girl with beautiful long, brown hair, just getting ready to start kindergarten. She was getting dressed one morning when I discovered an enlarged lymph node on her left groin. Five weeks later the egg-sized tumor was surgically removed and biopsied.

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St. Baldrick’s Researcher Tests New Treatment for Graft-Versus-Host Disease

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
October 1, 2014

Dr. Choi, a St. Baldrick’s Scholar, completed a phase II clinical trial testing a new drug to help kids with leukemia and other childhood cancers, and the results are encouraging. Help fund research like Dr. Choi’s. Get involved.

Julia in treatment for acute myeloid leukemia

Kids with leukemia, like 2011 Ambassador Julia, sometimes have to undergo a stem cell transplant as part of their childhood cancer treatment. Graft-versus-host disease is a common complication of transplants.

It’s no secret that kids die from cancer, but it’s not always the cancer that kills them.

For some kids with cancer, a stem cell transplant is their only hope for a cure. But stem cell transplants are very risky procedures. About half of all transplant patients will experience acute graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD, an often fatal complication where the transplanted immune cells attack the patient’s body.

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Daniel’s Journey from Childhood Cancer to Medical School

by Daniel Bral
July 11, 2014

Daniel was diagnosed with childhood cancer when he was 11. Now 25, he’s in medical school and he shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s in March to help fund children’s cancer research.

Daniel Bral
As a young boy, I loved to play basketball.

I loved the ball-handling that the coaches taught us. I loved the teamwork that went into winning games. I loved the feeling of making a shot into the basket. I loved the fact that I could outrun and out-maneuver the other payers because I was small and nimble.

But that January of 2001, I did not like the game one bit.

I was at tryouts for my middle school’s basketball team and of course I was so excited for the day to have finally come. But when the coaches started making everyone do drills, I had a very hard time keeping up with the other boys.

My chest was tight. I was wheezing and felt short of breath. I brushed it off to being a “coach potato” the entire summer, but it did not get any better over the course of the three days of tryouts.

This was the beginning of a journey I will never forget.

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Events and Fundraisers

A ‘Bake-Free Sale’ In Honor of Annika, Childhood Cancer Survivor

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 20, 2014

It might be the only bake sale you’ll ever see that’s entirely calorie-free, and it’s helping kids with cancer.

When Annika was 11, she was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a very fast-growing cancer in children. She endured surgery followed by radiation and two rounds of intense chemotherapy, which left her extremely tired, nauseous, and in a lot of pain. She celebrated her 12th birthday in a hospital room.

Annika and her brother while Annika was in treatment for childhood cancer

Annika with her brother on her 12th birthday while she was in treatment for childhood cancer.

Today, Annika is celebrating five years cancer free.

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Kids with Cancer

From the Barber’s Chair to the Front Lines in the Fight Against Kids’ Cancer

by Aaron Thompson
April 8, 2014

After his fourth shave for St. Baldrick’s, Aaron found out he had childhood cancer. The end of March marked one year of remission for Aaron. He shares his thoughts after his sixth St. Baldrick’s event. (Find an event near you!)

Aaron Thompson

Aaron in 2012 before he was diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

I was 11 the first time I participated in a St. Baldrick’s event. It was 2009 and I was at a swim meet when my coach mentioned there would be a head-shaving event to benefit childhood cancer research right in my home town of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

At that time, I thought the idea of shaving my head would be cool and kind of fun. I was one of the only kids in my town to participate. After a few more years of being a shavee, I learned more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the importance of raising money and shaving your head to support children’s cancer research.

I created my own team, the Bald Buddies, and encouraged some friends from school to raise money and shave their heads with me. As the years went on, my team, as well as the event, grew larger and larger.

Around Thanksgiving of 2012, I noticed a grape-sized bump on the side of my neck. My mom thought it was a swollen gland but since I didn’t have any other symptoms, we waited to see if it changed or went away.

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