“Because I knew you,
I have been changed For Good.”
So sings Grace when asked about the many people who have helped her navigate the journey following her brain tumor diagnosis at age 5. The words come from her favorite musical, WICKED, and hold great meaning. Without the support of her family and friends, and her medical and school communities, she might not be thriving. Without the childhood cancer research that preceded her diagnosis, she might not be alive to share her story.
In 2007, one month into kindergarten, a trip to the neurologist to discuss sporadic headaches forced an immediate admission to the ICU, steroid treatment, and surgery to remove a 4 centimeter malignant brain tumor at the base of her skull. Proton beam therapy and chemotherapy regimens began a month later, with inpatient chemotherapy continuing on for an additional 6 months. Despite Grace’s high risk diagnosis, she managed each stage of treatment with only minor setbacks. She then learned quickly that off treatment does not mean freedom from her diagnosis. Medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, hormone therapy, hearing aids, regular MRIs, blood work, dental work, and anxiety have all been companions in her recovery.
Cancer in a child is a horror story. Grace’s experience has been brutal, but she is one of the lucky ones. Now 10 years beyond her diagnosis, she is alive and thriving, and facing head on the physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges wrought by the treatment that saved her life.
Throughout her journey, Grace has learned the value in standing up for herself and what’s important. She wants to be able to help other kids with cancer “because so many people have helped us.” Her mom, Rebekah, a 7 time shavee and leader with the 46 Mommas campaign, was inspired by Grace to create the Grace for Good Fund. Grace hopes you will join her in helping kids with cancer. She wants you to change lives For Good.
Donations made to The Grace for Good Fund have funded a St. Baldrick’s Supportive Care Grant for Dr. Jonathan Posner M.D. at Columbia University affiliated with Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York-Presbyterian. Dr. Posner studying brain neurocognitive changes in brain tumor survivors.
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.
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.