Patient advocates play a vital role in the St. Baldrick’s — Stand Up To Cancer Pediatric Dream Team.
Patient advocates help to put a face on childhood cancer research. They humanize why the research is so critically important and translate that incredible work into language that’s more easily understood. Many are parents of kids who have fought cancer and one is a survivor herself. All are working to see the day when no family has to endure what they have.
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What does your support of childhood cancer research really mean? See what Carlos Sandi has to say about what a difference the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and specifically the St. Baldrick’s – Stand Up to Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, have made to his family.
“I’m an accidental tourist in the childhood cancer world,” says Patrick Sullivan, who chairs the Patient Advocacy committee for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation — Stand Up 2 Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. “It’s not a place I’d ever thought I’d be in, until I heard that my son had rhabdomyosarcoma in 2007.”Patrick Sullivan and his son, Finn.
Patrick’s role is more than just tourist, though. When the Pediatric Cancer Dream Team was created, its goal was to push the envelope, to marry the emerging fields of genomics and immunotherapy to create targeted therapies for cancers. It was also important to the Dream Team to involve patient advocates, to inspire and work alongside the researchers, to maximize the Dream Team’s success. Along the way, each researcher was paired with a young investigator on the team, to help the advocates better understand the science and to help the young investigators better communicate their work to families and the lay public.