LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Representing the 300,000 kids diagnosed with cancer each year worldwide, five kids have been announced as the St. Baldrick's Foundation's 2017 Ambassadors. The Ambassadors and their families will serve as spokespersons for the Foundation, attend fundraising events and provide the public with an in-depth look into their lives for a year. The St. Baldrick's Ambassadors' goal is to raise awareness for all childhood cancers and the need to find cures and treatments that are as unique as every child diagnosed.
St. Baldrick's Ambassadors highlight different ages, disease types, geographic locations and are all in varying stages of their journey with cancer. They serve as a reminder that childhood cancers don't discriminate.
Princeton Bryan, 7, from Palm Bay, Fla, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at just 2 years old. After years of treatment including immunotherapy, Princeton is now in remission. Each year, he shaves his doctor's head at a St. Baldrick's head-shaving event. He is enjoying childhood after cancer, spending time racing through obstacles at his American Ninja Warrior class and swimming over waves at the beach.
Ike Yarmon, 8, from Rogers, Minn., is known for his spunky personality and competitive spirit – one that never wavered, even when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). After more than three years of chemotherapy, Ike is in remission. He is using his renewed energy and passion for life to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
Abby Furco, 10, from Virginia Beach, Va., was diagnosed with Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when she was 5 years old. After 32 months of unique combination therapy, she was declared cancer free, only to relapse one year later. After being deemed cancer free for a second time, Abby developed a severe disease from her bone marrow transplant, causing her kidneys to fail. Doctors gave Abby 48 hours to live, but Abby proved them wrong. She returned to school, walked down the aisle as a flower girl for her camp counselor's wedding and visited Italy with her family. Abby is continuing her journey today.
Benny Martinez, 12, from Park Ridge, Ill., was diagnosed with medulloblastoma nine months ago. He underwent a seven-hour brain surgery leaving him unable to walk, talk or swallow. However, Benny is currently in treatment and making great progress. He has graduated from his wheelchair and attends half days at school. Benny is known for the signature pies he bakes and his selfless personality – he even participated in one of the St. Baldrick's Foundation's signature head-shaving events before he was diagnosed.
Emily Hines, 17, from Ponchatoula, La., recently finished treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia. Emily was the first pediatric patient to enroll in an 8-month clinical trial where doctors used arsenic, instead of chemotherapy, to kill her leukemia cells. This reduced her treatment time from two to three years to only six months. Emily just finished treatment, and her determined and optimistic attitude leads her to the opinion that cancer has blessed her more than it has taken away from her.
About St. Baldrick's Foundation
As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick's Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick's funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to innovative explorers who bring with them the promise of a future free from childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at StBaldricks.org to help support the best cancer treatments for kids.
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SOURCE St. Baldrick's Foundation