No matter how hard the fight became, his happy spirit stayed positive and he wouldn’t complain. While undergoing treatments, he volunteered selflessly to serve as an advocate for other children in similar circumstances. He was always willing to speak to other kids and their parents about what it meant to be brave.
Anyone who met Derick could tell immediately that he was a very special little boy. He was born in Sicily, Italy on October 9th, 2006. Being the youngest son born into a military family, Derick lived, as many military children do, traveling on many adventures and meeting friends from all over the world. It was in Sicily that he met his best friend Hunter. The two of them hit it off immediately and throughout their time hanging out in Italy and Spain they became thick as thieves. As a young and mischievous boy, Derick loved to play pranks on his friends and family. He would leave toy bugs and lizards to be found by his mom or older sisters in hopes of startling them, an activity that his best friend Hunter continues to this day in his honor.
Derick always had a smile and charisma that would melt the hearts of everyone around him and he used his flirtatious charm every chance he got. He had a fond love for sports. He placed 2nd in a kids triathlon when he was five years old. Whether it was swimming, playing baseball, football, or basketball, his enthusiasm and competitiveness could easily be seen by the smile on his face when he was playing.
Derick’s friends started a comic book called “Derick the Defeater”. The story of a super hero who fought evil villains in the form of cancer cells. By his bravery and his willingness to never give up, Derick became a hero both in the comic books, and to his family and friends.
As incredibly painful Derick’s loss to all of us was, we are all so incredibly blessed to have had him in our lives. He touched so many with his beautiful soul, his bravery, and his love. We have started this fund in honor of his memory and to continue his legacy. It is our goal to bring hope to children and their families by raising awareness and through funding childhood cancer research. Through helping others, Derick The Defeater’s light will forever live on.
Donations made to the Derick the Defeater Fund have generously supported the St. Baldrick’s Scholar grant for Beata Chertok Ph.D. Dr. Chertok is researching an innovative immune therapy to treat brain tumors at the University of Michigan affiliated with C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
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 the Derick the Defeater 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.