LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Although COVID has seemingly put a hold on everyday life, kids are still being diagnosed with cancer, regardless of the current city and state COVID numbers. As the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick's Foundation is working to find better treatment options and cures for kids with cancer and prevent life-saving research from slowing down because of the effects that COVID has had on the country.
"Due to the pandemic's effect on St. Baldrick's fundraising efforts, donations to St. Baldrick's dropped 35% last year, causing a shortfall of almost $13 million in our grants for childhood cancer research in 2020. Since St. Baldrick's is the largest maker of these grants aside from the U.S. government, that's a big hit," shares Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick's CEO. "Childhood cancer did not pause during the pandemic and neither will we. Children are still being diagnosed every day."
The reality of childhood cancer, whether the country is in a pandemic or not, is that:
Every 2 minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is diagnosed with cancer.
About 1 in 285 kids in the U.S. will have cancer before they turn 20.
1 in 5 kids with cancer in the U.S. will not survive.
By the age of 50, more than 99% of survivors have had a chronic health problem, and 96% have experienced a severe or life-threatening condition caused by the toxicity of the treatment that initially saved their life.
St. Baldrick's believes that one child lost to cancer is one too many and that children deserve a lifetime. Since the first St. Baldrick's head-shaving event in March 2000, St. Baldrick's has played a part in every significant advancement in childhood cancer research over the last two decades, including:
The FDA's groundbreaking approval of Kymriah – the first gene therapy approved in the U.S. – saving the lives of more than 80% of relapsed childhood leukemia patients who had no other hope.
The FDA's approval of the first drug developed, Vitrakvi, or larotrectinib, to target a key genetic driver of cancer, rather than a specific type of tumor.
An increase from 30% to almost 50% in the survival of high-risk neuroblastoma, with the FDA's approval of Unituxin, a new immunotherapy.
Improving survival from 20% to 70% by using Gleevec to treat children newly diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ALL).
An increase in the survival of a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia from 80% to 90%, by using an old drug (Methotrexate) in a new way.
An increase in survival from 82% to 94% for children with high-risk non-Hodgkin lymphoma, using Rituximab, a drug previously approved for adult cancers.
These advancements, and so much more, have been made possible because of St. Baldrick's volunteers, shavees, donors, advocates, and thousands of supporters.
To see how St. Baldrick's shavees raise money for childhood cancer research, tune into one of St. Baldrick's Foundation Virtual Head-Shaving Events presented by St. Baldrick's National Partner Schick Xtreme on St. Baldrick's YouTube and Facebook pages. The events start at 10 a.m. (PST)/1 p.m. (EST). If you'd like to register to participate in one of the following events click here:
If shaving your head isn't for you, you can get involved by starting your own fundraiser. St. Baldrick's offers five fundraising styles that can fit your lifestyle best. For example, if you enjoy streaming on platforms like Tiltify, you and your audience can collectively raise money for childhood cancer research.
With your support, St. Baldrick's will be able to help give kids a lifetime by funding life-saving childhood cancer research.
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 institution – 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 life-saving clinical trials. Join us at StBaldricks.org and help #GiveKidsaLifetime.