LOS ANGELES, June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In recognition of National Cancer Survivors Month, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest charitable funder of childhood cancer research grants, is raising awareness about the challenges and life-threatening conditions faced by childhood cancer survivors. The Foundation is highlighting the fact that survivorship is a lifelong journey and issuing a call to support research to find more effective and less toxic treatments. With St. Baldrick’s fundraising being negatively impacted by the pandemic, the Foundation is seeking support from the public and asking for their help to raise critical funds for lifesaving research – all while staying safe in a COVID-19 world.
The majority of St. Baldrick’s annual revenue for childhood cancer research comes in at this time of year. With those funds, St. Baldrick’s makes its largest round of grants in June. In an effort to increase donations during this uncertain time, St. Baldrick’s Founder, Chairman Emeritus, and Director Tim Kenny, and wife Sheila, have donated $500,000. Part of this donation will initiate a new challenge to match every donation made to St. Baldrick’s in June, up to $300,000. $200,000 will support the Foundation’s partnership with the American Cancer Society to investigate not only if a treatment gives patients better outcomes, but also why, by leveraging current clinical trials in new ways to accelerate research and help more children survive.
«Knowing that St. Baldrick’s 20 years of fundraising has led to so many advancements in the world of childhood cancer is exhilarating,» said Tim and Sheila Kenny. «We are thrilled to see thousands of people every year take up the cause to raise money for childhood cancer research. To see how the research, made possible by those efforts, has helped save kids’ lives like St. Baldrick’s Ambassador Micah, is truly amazing.»
Micah Bernstein, 9, from Carlsbad, Calif., has spent the bulk of his life fighting cancer. Diagnosed with neuroblastoma in March 2012 at just 15 months old, Micah has endured three surgeries, 21 cycles of chemotherapy, 36 sessions of radiation and two relapses. Two separate phases of his treatment were centered around Unituxin, an immunotherapy drug developed with support from St. Baldrick’s that received FDA approval while Micah was in treatment. Thankfully, Micah’s blood work and scans have been clear for more than five years and he’s been completely off treatment for over a year.
In January 2020, Micah had his first annual survivorship clinic appointment where they examined his health post-treatment, including side effects that might arise as a result of his disease or treatment. He will have scans every four months along with visits to a cardiologist and an endocrinologist to address the affect chemotherapy has had on his heart function and growth. Micah will need to continue these types of check-ups throughout his life as part of his survivorship health plan.
Micah’s story of survivorship and attending survivorship clinic is just one out of 420,000 childhood cancer survivor stories in the United States. That’s about 1 in every 750 young adults. Whether someone was diagnosed as an infant, child or young adult, their health needs to be monitored carefully for the rest of their lives.
To give hope to other kids affected by cancer, Micah will be shaving his head for St. Baldrick’s Survivorship Giving Day. To watch Micah shave his head live and cheer him on, visit the St. Baldrick’s Facebook page on Tuesday, June 30. To support Micah and kids like him, tag @StBaldricks with the hashtag #GiveStBaldricks and ask friends and family to give on June 30.
«We hope everyone will participate in our giving day on June 30 and give what they can,» said Kathleen Ruddy, CEO of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. «We understand that times are hard, but we refuse to give up hope for kids with cancer. Cancer isn’t taking a break, and neither can we. We will continue to do everything in our power to raise the funds needed to give kids the best chance at a long and healthy future.»
For more childhood cancer survivor stories visit the St. Baldrick’s blog and follow the conversation on social media.
For members of the media – To feature a local childhood cancer survivor or survivorship studies taking place in your area, please contact Michele Franco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Every 2 minutes a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of pediatric cancer research grants, is on a mission to defy childhood cancers 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 institution–you give to virtually every institution treating kids with cancer across the U.S. and beyond. As a leader in the pediatric cancer community, St. Baldrick’s works tirelessly to ensure that current and future children diagnosed with cancer will have access to the most cutting-edge treatment from the best leaders in the pediatric oncology field. Join us at StBaldricks.org and help #DFYchildhoodCancers.
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SOURCE St. Baldrick’s Foundation