Families

Goodbye, 2016: A Look Back at the Year With Our Ambassadors

by Lauren Feller
December 30, 2016

We may be welcoming new Ambassadors soon, but not before we give our 2016 Ambassadors a chance to share some final thoughts about the past year. Read on to find out just how much the St. Baldrick’s community means to these amazing kids and their families.

2016 St. Baldrick's Ambassadors

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Families

Remembering Althea

by Tina Sandi
December 1, 2016

Tina and Carlos’ childhood cancer journey didn’t begin with their son Phineas’ diagnosis in 2013. It began seven years earlier with their second child, Althea. On the 10th anniversary of Althea’s death, Tina shares how she continues to honor her daughter’s memory.

Althea and her mom

Althea and her mom.

December 1. I can feel it in my bones days before it arrives. Late fall, Thanksgiving leftovers gone, dead leaves, frost, Christmas coming, my daughter dying in my arms.

A fact of my life for 10 years now — my daughter Althea died of cancer when she was 2 years old.

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Families

‘Pura Vida!’: Phineas’ Summer in Costa Rica

by Carlos Sandi
September 19, 2016

Ambassador Phineas’ dad, Carlos, shares what the family has been up to this past summer, and he looks back at where their family was 10 years ago — and where they might be now if it weren’t for the immunotherapy clinical trial that saved Phineas’ life.

Phineas Costa Rica water

Ten years ago I was nearing the end of the worst summer of my life.

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Advocacy

‘Imagine What It’s Like’: Carlos Takes His Story to Capitol Hill

by Carlos Sandi
May 17, 2016

Yesterday, Ambassador Phineas’ dad, Carlos, joined more than 200 childhood cancer advocates on Capitol Hill to drum up support in Washington for kids with cancer. He opened up about what it’s like to have two children diagnosed with cancer, how research saved his son’s life, and why he won’t stop telling his family’s story. Read his powerful speech below.

Carlos and Phineas Sandi

Carlos with his son, Phineas. Phineas was diagnosed with cancer when he was 4, six years after his sister Althea died of childhood cancer.

I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but like most of my neighbors, I’m not actually from North Carolina. Chapel Hill is a college town where new people come and go every year.

Whenever my wife and I meet people for the first time, one of the first questions we get asked is, “So, how did you end up in Chapel Hill?”

When I hear that question, I always freeze for a second because I have to decide carefully how I want to answer.

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Kids with Cancer

The 3rd Anniversary of Phineas’ Childhood Cancer Diagnosis

by Tina Sandi
March 28, 2016

Ambassador Phineas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2013. He’s alive today because of research funded by St. Baldrick’s. His mom, Tina, shares how their family will be spending his three-year diagnosis anniversary.

Phineas and Sandi family

The Sandi Family (left to right): Fiona, Carlos, Phineas and Tina.

On March 28, 2013, we found out that our 4-year-old son, Phineas, had cancer. It was a terrible day — but heartbreakingly familiar.

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Kids with Cancer

Meet Phineas

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 5, 2016

Phineas has a long list of things he loves. The 7-year-old loves playing with Legos, riding his mountain bike, eating pizza and junk food (when his mom isn’t looking), and all things monster truck.

Ambassador Phineas

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Families

How Immunotherapy Saved Phineas [VIDEO]

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 8, 2015

“Our son would not be with us today if it weren’t for St. Baldrick’s,” says Phineas’ dad, Carlos. Read on to see how research saved the little boy’s life.

NEW VIDEO: Phineas’ Story >

Phineas Sandi smiles as he looks into the distance

On a recent mountain bike ride with a friend, 7-year-old Phineas was sailing along when he decided to take a risk and pedal over a bridge not meant for bicycle traffic. He wiped out in a big way.

But without so much as a single tear, he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and got back on the bike.

Compared to what this boy had been through two years before, that was nothing.

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Advocacy

An Open Letter to My Representatives: Why You Need to Support the Childhood Cancer STAR Act

by Carlos Sandi
August 14, 2015

Two of Carlos Sandi’s three children have been diagnosed with cancer — Althea, who died in 2006, and Phineas, who is now cancer free thanks to childhood cancer research. Carlos takes his family’s story to his representatives in this moving letter.

Althea and Phineas Sandi

The Sandi family (left to right): Fiona, Carlos, Phineas and Tina.

Dear Senators:

I am writing today to ask for your support of the childhood cancer STAR Act. This bill reflects the highest-level legislative priorities as defined by rounds of carefully considered conversation among the many groups comprising the Alliance for Childhood Cancer.

I don’t know what the rubric or algorithm is for deciding if you should co-sponsor a bill, but I can tell you from personal experience that without direct federal support for childhood cancer research in the form of the NIH Pediatric Oncology Branch, my son Phineas would not be spending this week attending a Lego robotics camp; he would be every bit as dead as his older sister who we lost to acute myeloid leukemia in 2006.

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