The Next Generation of Pediatric Cancer Researchers: St. Baldrick’s Foundation Fellows and Summer Fellows
It’s a lofty goal that’s right below the St. Baldrick’s logo for all to see: Conquer Childhood Cancers. And it’s a goal that takes a multi-faceted approach, a robust network of hospitals and researchers, and labs with professionals from throughout the age and experience spectrum.
As we learned recently when we interviewed Dr. Jeff Lipton, there’s real value in building a “pipeline” of researchers; and one way this pipeline grows is by funding the training of new researchers at hospitals and research organizations throughout North America.
On June 13, we learned that 2013 Ambassador Avery passed away.
In loving memory of sweet Avery, forever 13.
“She was peaceful and calm,” wrote her mom, Stephanie, on the Fabulous Team Avery Facebook group earlier today.
Even though we knew Avery was on hospice, the words felt like a sucker punch to the gut. No amount of preparation could have prepared us for the news that childhood cancer claimed the life of a fabulous kid like Avery.
In our last update on 2013 Ambassador Avery, she was participating in a clinical trial to treat her brain tumor. Today, she’s off the trial and back home on hospice care. Here’s an update on the next chapter in Avery’s story.
2013 Ambassador Avery was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011.
At the end of last year, after living with a stable brain tumor for two and a half years, 13-year-old Avery was back in the fight against childhood cancer.
2013 Ambassador Avery has been fighting a brain tumor since she was 8. Her mom, Stephanie, has been by her side every step of the way. Read what Stephanie has to say about how childhood cancer has changed her job as a mom.
Stephanie smiles with her husband and four children on a recent trip to Disneyland.
I always wanted to be a mom, and I have always taken my role as a mother to heart. But now, I’m an advocate for my kids, too.
2013 Ambassador Avery has had one wild ride during her childhood cancer experience. Read an update on how she’s keeping her “can do” attitude throughout her relapse, clinical trial, and everything in between.
While news of a brain tumor might stop some people from having a positive outlook on life, that’s not the case for 2013 Ambassador Avery.
“Some people get cancer and others don’t,” she said. “This is just what I have to deal with.”
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.
1. He snuggles with me.
2. He helps me do art.
3. He goes to events with me.
4. He gives me money if I rub his feet.
Avery, one of five St. Baldrick’s Ambassadors in 2013, attended her first head-shaving event this month at McMullan’s Irish Pub in Las Vegas. Avery’s mom, Stephanie, tells the story, with photos by Melissa Jacks Photography.
This was an amazing first event for our family. Until now, we had only heard about the great things that St. Baldrick’s does for kids’ cancer research, so we were thrilled when we got the invitation to come see an event in action at McMullan’s Irish Pub in Las Vegas.
2013 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador Avery and her family are thrilled to announce that the St. Baldrick’s community has raised more than $9 million for childhood cancer research!
Avery’s mom, Stephanie, says, “We are awed by the generous donations of time and money given to St. Baldrick’s. We are excited by the possibilities that this brings to kids with cancer and finding new ways to treat it and one day conquer it.”
Avery’s attitude about having a brain tumor is, “Some people get cancer and others don’t. This is just what I have to deal with.” Diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma in June 2011, Avery had a craniotomy that removed about 60% of her tumor along with three months of steroids and is having eight rounds of chemotherapy. Her mom, Stephanie, says, “If anyone can handle this, it’s Avery… She’s a ‘can do’ kind of girl.”