Advocacy

St. Baldrick’s Inspires One Family’s Path to Advocacy 

by Julia’s mom, Melissa Alexander
November 10, 2022

I will never forget the evening of Sunday, December 14, 2014, when the ER doctor and the pediatric neurologist on call entered our triage room and told us that our sweet eight-year-old girl had a huge brain tumor and life-threatening obstructive hydrocephalus. That moment left an indelible mark on my heart. The fear, the heartache, helplessness, and especially the unyielding desire to eliminate our baby’s pain and suffering were soul-crushing.

Current photo of Julia sitting on stairs

“Supergirl Julia” today

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Facts

Q&A On Fertility After Adolescent or Young Adult Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 9, 2022

Each survivor’s risk of late effects of cancer treatment depends on their tumor, specific treatments, age, genetic makeup and other factors. Surgeries, chemotherapies, radiation, stem cell transplants and other treatments take a toll on the body – and sometimes the mind – in many ways. Some late effects make life more difficult; others are life-threatening.

Heart and lung problems are common, as are secondary cancers.

Other late effects can include hearing problems, hormonal imbalances, difficulty growing, mental health needs or cognitive deficiencies, bone density issues and easy bone fractures, fertility and reproductive problems, and more.

Survivorship is a lifelong journey. By age 50 childhood cancer survivors have experienced, on average, 17 adverse effects, 3 to 5 of those being severe to life-threatening. Also by age 50, over 99% of today’s childhood cancer survivors have a chronic health problem by age 50 because of the treatments they had as kids.

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Real-Life Stories

Surviving Cancer – Through the Eyes of a 16-year-old

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 28, 2021

Want to know what it’s like to be a teenage survivor of childhood cancer? We asked 16-year-old Michael G. to share his experience, during National Cancer Survivor Month.

Honored Kid, Michael G.

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Research

This New Tool Could Mean Better Health For Childhood Cancer Survivors

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 21, 2021

For childhood cancer survivors, treatment helps them to live, but often that survival comes at a cost. But what are these costs? And how big is the problem? That’s what St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Nickhill Bhakta wanted to figure out. And as it turns out, that data could be a lifesaver.

Dr. Nickhill Bhakta at his desk

St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Nickhill Bhakta works at his desk in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With a portion of the grant supported by the St. Baldrick’s Friends for Hope Fund, he developed a special statistical tool to help capture the true volume and complexity of chronic health conditions faced by childhood cancer survivors because of the long-term consequences of their treatment — something that hadn’t been done before. Photos courtesy of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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Real-Life Stories

Checking the Life-Threatening Box: A Survivor’s Update

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 14, 2021

A childhood cancer survivor himself, Gregory J. Aune, MD, PhD, shares his personal experience and thoughts during National Cancer Survivor Month.

(Originally posted on Medium on May 19th, Dr. Aune graciously agreed to share this with St. Baldrick’s.)

Researcher headshot with lab coatDr. Aune was a St. Baldrick’s Scholar 2014 – 2019, serves as a scientific reviewer and is a member of the Advocacy Committee for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. He is the Greehey Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Survivorship in Children at Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

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Real-Life Stories

Survivorship: Lives Forever Changed

by Becky Chapman Weaver, Chief Mission Officer
June 10, 2021

June is National Cancer Survivor Month, a time to celebrate childhood cancer survivors – and to keep the focus on progress. Because surviving is just the first step in a lifelong journey.

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Research

Research Outcomes: Progress from Bench to Bedside

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 24, 2021

With your help researchers continue to answer questions, seek out cures, and reduce long-term effects of treatment. Four exciting research outcomes you made possible are detailed below: 

test tubes

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Survivors

Leave No Stone Left Unturned: To Fund the Best Childhood Cancer Research

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 1, 2020

Your Donations Help Find Cures and Improve Quality of Life for Survivors

St. Baldrick’s is dedicated to scouring the nation in a relentless pursuit to discover and unearth the most promising research. We fund the most innovative researchers so they may provide the most effective and ground-breaking treatments to every single childhood cancer. It’s this tenacity that ensures donors that they’re helping to propel advancements that will find cures for childhood cancers and develop less toxic treatments, giving survivors long and healthy lives. We find and fund the very best of the best. So put your money in the hands of the researchers who offer us all the very best chance to make a huge impact. Please donate today.

thumbs up

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Real-Life Stories

The Long and Winding Road to Survivorship

by Kate Bernstein, Micah's Mom
June 1, 2020

Before the doctors even told us, I knew. Micah had cancer. Even without understanding the enormity of what lay ahead, I knew that it meant my life and worse, my child’s life, would never be the same. Now I’m sharing my son Micah’s story because I believe in the critical need to support childhood cancer research with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Please join me in giving hope to the next child faced with a cancer diagnosis. 

Micah holding up picture of himself

Most parents simply hope their child grows up to be a good person. 

I mostly hope mine just gets the chance to grow up.  

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Childhood Cancer

Brooke Survives Cancer, Graduates Stanford – But Not Without A Lifetime’s Worth of Challenges

by Brooke Vittimberga
June 17, 2019

Editor’s Note: Brooke is an Ambassador and Honored Kid who just graduated from Stanford University. As Cancer Survivors Month continues on the St. Baldrick’s Blog, we’re letting her tell the story of how she got to this day in her own words.

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, my friends were finishing up their first week of junior year at Stanford. I was lying in a hospital bed, watching as my brother’s stem cells were infused into my body, replacing the bone marrow that had turned against me.

On Friday, September 25, my friends celebrated their first weekend back together at school. I had a grand mal seizure.

When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at the end of my sophomore year of college, I knew that I was going to have a very different college experience from my peers. I had no idea how different it would be.

I had the impression that I would either die or I would live and return to my previous life. I had a high-risk form of leukemia that did not respond to my first round of chemotherapy, and at first it seemed that the death option was more likely.

But when I got into remission on a salvage round of chemotherapy and proceeded to my bone marrow transplant, I was hopeful that a return to “normal life” was possible.

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