Dr. Jeffrey Toretsky is a St. Baldrick’s researcher at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. He explains what sarcoma is, how it’s diagnosed and treated, and how research is helping kids and adults with this type of cancer.
What is sarcoma?
A sarcoma is a bumpy tumor that occurs in the connective tissues (nerves, muscles and bones) anywhere in the body.
Sarcomas are rare, especially in young children. In kids between 10 and 20, sarcomas make up about 20-25% of childhood cancer diagnoses.
Sarcomas can start off being tiny lumps that you can’t feel. They can spread through the body, or metastasize, before they grow big enough to be seen.
Jason Yustein, M.D., Ph.D., a St. Baldrick’s Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, explains Ewing sarcoma symptoms, treatment options, and research opportunities.
What is Ewing sarcoma?
Ewing sarcoma is a type of childhood cancer that is most frequently found in children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.
Ewing sarcoma — the second most common bone cancer after osteosarcoma — often originates in the long, large bones of the body, including the hip, thigh, shin, chest, and arm bones.
Diagnosed with a rare sarcoma when he was a toddler, Honored Kid Alan passed away five years ago. With his chubby-cheeked grin and bright personality, the 2014 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador has inspired all of us — and as his mom writes in this blog, Alan’s impact continues to be felt in a big, brilliant way. Read on to learn how…
Dr. Nino Rainusso meets with Alan’s family, plus Hilly the bear, a stuffed panda purchased in Washington D.C. to represent Alan’s lost opportunities.
Four years ago, we established a Hero Fund with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise money for sarcoma research in Alan’s memory. Last July we were thrilled to share that the fundraising we had done through Alan’s Sarcoma Research Fund had given us the opportunity to name a grant.
Dr. Nino Rainusso of Baylor College of Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital would be named the Alan’s Sarcoma Research Fund St. Baldrick’s Scholar for his work in identifying and examining the most difficult-to-treat cancer cells from patients at Texas Children’s.
Spunky, determined, and positive, 12-year-old Lily is a childhood cancer survivor in a family continually facing the disease. Read on for more of her inspirational story and see how this two-time shavee℠ is facing cancer survivorship head on and helping other kids like her.
Lily with her mom, Jennifer, during Lily’s 2014 shave.
For the Mallory family, hope is a curly-haired, 11-year-old girl named Lily.
In 2008 at the age of 3, Lily was diagnosed with two cancers — an adrenal cortical carcinoma and a sarcoma in her leg. Years later, her mom was diagnosed with two cancers too — breast cancer and sarcoma in her arm. The breast cancer has since metastasized to her bones, lungs and brain.
“There’s only so much you can do, but you could always be that one. You could be the Lily that defies all the odds,” said her mother, Jennifer.
Today marks the end of an era for Joe Bartlett and Chuck Chamness as they complete their terms on our board of directors. Read 2012 Ambassador Sarah’s heartfelt letter thanking them for all the hard work they’ve dedicated to kids with cancer.
Joe Bartlett (left) and Chuck Chamness hold their goodbye gifts at their final St. Baldrick’s board meeting.
Dear Mr. Bartlett and Mr. Chamness,
I want to thank you for all you have done as members of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s board of directors.
Dr. Ralph Ermoian is a radiation oncologist and St. Baldrick’s infrastructure grant recipient at the University of Washington. He explains what proton therapy is, how it works, and how this treatment is helping kids and adults with cancer.
What is proton therapy?
Proton therapy is a type of radiation used commonly for children with cancer. Like traditional x-ray radiation, it is used to treat cancers, but proton therapy affects less of the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
For Maddie Messner, family comes first. So when she heard the news that her cousin, Allie, was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma, Maddie knew she had to do something to help. Read on to see how Maddie has decided to “rally for Allie,” and how Allie inspired her along the way.
Cousins Allie (left) and Maddie share a very close friendship.
My cousins and sisters are my best friends.
The 11 of us call ourselves “the cousin clan.” Growing up, we did everything together: sleepovers, parties, road trips. I even shared a dorm room with my one of my cousins all through college.
When it came time to talk about surgery for bone cancer, 9-year-old Honored Kid Elise took charge. Read on to learn about Elise’s cancer journey, the decision she made, and how she’s moving forward with her life.
Wise beyond her years, 9-year-old Elise has been a full participant in her treatment decisions.
Nine-year-old Elise has some advice for any kid facing a big, tough decision.
“It’s your decision,” she said. “It’s your life.”
Elise knows all about making life-changing decisions. When it came time to choose the best surgery to rid her right leg of bone cancer, it was Elise who spoke up first.
2013 Ambassador Emily is living it up in the Big Apple as a student at New York University. Meanwhile, her mom is on the other side of the country in California. Despite the distance, Emily made sure her mom is feeling loved for Mother’s Day — read Emily’s touching letter below.
Emily and her mom have a close relationship.
First off, happy Mother’s Day! I love you so much, which I hope you already know. I hope you can understand how difficult it is for me to write this letter because you (and Dad and Max) mean more to me than everything in the world.
Cierra Walsh was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right femur on March 19, 2014. She went through nine months of chemotherapy and four surgeries on her leg. Now, the 15-year-old has a strong voice for kids with cancer — read what she has to say about it.
Cierra, surrounded by her friends, poses with her newly shaved head.
People often say that the three most important words in the English language are “I love you.”
But my life experience suggests something different. The three most important words to me are “you have cancer.”
Everything in my life has been changed by those three simple words.
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