• Press Release
  • For Immediate Release
  • Media Contact:
    • Michele Franco
    • 626.792.8247 ext. 264
    • michele.franco@stbaldricks.org

Promising Grant for Childhood Cancer Research Named in Honor of the Abbey E. Foltz Fund, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund

Canton, Ohio – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants, is proud to announce The Abbey E. Foltz Fund, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, created in honor of Abbey Foltz from Canton, Ohio, will support lifesaving childhood cancer research.

Dr. Laura Gerak at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio is the recipient of the St. Baldrick’s Infrastructure Grant, named for The Abbey E. Foltz Fund.

Dr. Gerak’s study will create a uniform infrastructure to formalize pathways to support the emotional needs of patients and their families.

The impact that cancer has on a child and teen reaches far beyond the physical ailment. The psychological impact can be just as devastating. Recent studies have shown that 32% of adolescent and young adult patients suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Our family is so happy that the first Infrastructure Grant named by the Abbey E. Foltz Fund has been awarded to Laura Gerak Ph.D., of Akron Children’s Hospital. Akron Children’s Hospital cared for Abbey, from 14 – 19 years of age, during her diagnosis of Osteosarcoma. This grant will help teens and their families manage the psychological impact, which can be devastating while undergoing treatment,” said Jeff and Nan Foltz, Abbey’s parents. “We know Abbey is smiling because living with cancer emotionally is as hard as going through the steps physically. Thank you to all who have supported our St. Baldrick’s and Abbey E. Foltz Fund. Our 2022 St. Baldrick’s Canton Event will be our 20th anniversary. What a wonderful gift!”

Abbey was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in January 1996. She was 14 years old, a freshman at GlenOak High School, and a competitive dancer. School, friends, family, and dancing were her life. Throughout her four years of treatment, surgeries, and her recurrence of a brain tumor, Abbey continued to go to high school and then college at The Ohio State University where she studied nursing. She even pledged a sorority months before she passed away at home on August 3, 2000.

Abbey taught those around her how to cope. She kept a smile on, it seemed, at all times and made the best of her days. When she felt better, she read the children’s book, “Rainbow Fish” to elementary students explaining why it was important to share and do good to others.

Three years after Abbey’s passing, the Foltz family hosted their first St. Baldrick’s event. Abbey’s example of coping with her disease showed them that through helping others they could learn to cope with their grief.

St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds are an ongoing way for friends, family members, and groups to donate or raise funds to honor a loved one. To learn more about the program, visit the St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund page.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Every 2 minutes, a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer. In the U.S., 1 in 5 will not survive. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants, is on a mission to give kids a lifetime by supporting the most promising research to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. When you give to St. Baldrick’s, you don’t just give to one hospital – you support virtually every institution with the expertise to treat kids with cancer across the U.S. St. Baldrick’s ensures that children fighting cancer now — and those diagnosed in the future — will have access to the most cutting-edge treatment, by supporting every stage of research, from new ideas in the lab to the development of new therapies, to lifesaving clinical trials. Join us at StBaldricks.org and help #GiveKidsALifetime.