Honored Kid

Alex Butler

Age 19
Alex Butler Kid Photo

Location

Apex, NC, US

Diagnosis

Brain or spinal cord tumor

Date of Diagnosis

December 2017

Status

No evidence of disease

Treated At

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center

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My Story

Thank you for supporting our son Alex and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure.

On December 20, 2017 our whole world came to a jarring halt when an MRI revealed multiple tumors in Alex's brain. Alex would spend Christmas in the hospital, undergo painful tests, brain surgery, months of chemotherapy, a life-threatening infection, multiple inpatient hospital stays measured in weeks not days and a month and a half of daily craniospinal proton radiation therapy up in Boston.

Alex now has no evidence of disease, worked hard to catch up in his studies so he could graduate high school on time and is currently a college freshman majoring in biology. Periodic MRI's will remain a fact of life for the foreseeable future. There are long-lasting, often lifelong, residual negative effects from the cancer itself and/or the treatments to eradicate the cancer. Chemotherapy comes with the elevated risk of developing secondary cancers. Applying radiation to the brain can negatively affect executive motor functioning and short-term memory. Alex's tumors all but destroyed his pituitary and pineal glands. He'll be on multiple hormone replacement therapies for the remainder of his life.

The effects of pediatric cancer don't go away when treatment ends. Alex is actually one of the "lucky" ones. His after-effects from pediatric cancer, although challenging, are manageable. For many other kids and their families the lifelong effects of pediatric cancer are debilitating. The St. Baldrick's Foundation seeks not only to fund research to cure childhood cancers but also research to provide effective treatment protocols that result in improved survivor quality of life. Alex's prognosis is promising. The prognosis for far too many children is not so promising.

Together we can help the St. Baldrick's Foundation bring more promise to these children and their families affected by this insidious disease.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

Who's Honoring Me

Help kids take childhood back from cancer — support lifesaving cancer research today.

Children who are fighting or have fought cancer inspire others to be part of the Foundation's mission — to support the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

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