Bianka Kucelin will always be a shining light to all who have known her, beloved by family, friends and her whole community. She touched us all with her grace, joy, spunk, beauty and spirit.
Bianka was diagnosed at age 4 with a malignant brain cancer called supratentorial neuroectodermal brain tumor or sPNET mid February 2014. She completed six months of high dose chemo treatment with stem cell transplant and enjoyed several cancer-free months with family and friends, but in May 2015 an MRI revealed the tumor had returned. Bianka started radiation treatment of June 9th, 2015 but the same day had a tumor bleed into her brain and was sent home on hospice. Bianka really wanted to go to Disney, on this Earth, how she said, and her desire for her dream to come true kept her alive and she recovered from the bleed by fully absorbing the blood in her brain in less than two weeks. We decided that we wanted to take Bianka to Disney World instead of continuing radiation and are so happy that her dream indeed came true.
Bianka spent her last few weeks surrounded by loved ones, meeting princesses, going on motorcycle rides, and feeling the beachy sand between her toes. She died peacefully at home with her family on July 29, 2015. Her incredible spirit has forever transformed all around her.
Bianka's tumor tissue was donated for research to two organizations and research teams: Dr. Anna Janss's team at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta who was Bianka's wonderful oncologist and Dr. Annie Huang's team at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. We are especially excited that Dr. Huang received the viable cells and will be able to grow cell lines, only second PNET cell line in the whole research community. Hopefully Bianka's tumor will bring some research discoveries and new therapies for this very malignant, rare, and deadly tumor.
We would like to fund at least one research grant and will need over $100,000 to do that. The funds will go directly for researching PNET brain tumors. Thank you for your support in our efforts to find a cure for the future generations.
Donations made to the Bianka's Butterfly Fund for PNET Research have generously supported the 2019 grant to the St. Baldrick's-SU2C Cancer Pediatric Dream Team.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of leading experts in the childhood cancer community, to ensure that every dollar makes the greatest impact for kids with cancer.
These people make us smile - they’re the doers and money-raisers on behalf of Bianka's Butterfly Fund. They’re shaving their heads, hosting events, starting fundraisers and more to make childhood cancer research possible.
Start your own St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event to raise money on behalf of our Hero Fund! You’ll be paired with a staff member who will walk you through every step of the process, and you’ll have fun knowing you’re doing a great thing for kids with cancer.
Register to shave your head and raise money for our Hero Fund at any St. Baldrick’s event happening around the world! Not finding an event near you? Register as a virtual shavee and shave your head anytime, anywhere.