LOS ANGELES, Sept. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This September, for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the St. Baldrick's Foundation will share the realities of childhood cancer, including what life after cancer looks like for survivors. When someone receives a cancer diagnosis for an adult or childhood cancer, the first goal is to survive cancer and the treatment. Researchers measure treatment success by how many cancer patients survive five years beyond their diagnosis, but for kids with cancer, five years isn't enough. That's why we're working to give kids a lifetime beyond treatment, not just five years.
Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:
1 in 5 kids diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. won't survive.
The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is six years old. That's 71 years of life lost, on average, for a child that is diagnosed with cancer. Those 71 years lost could have been years that a child spent growing up, going to school, creating or discovering new things – like a cure for cancer, getting married, starting their own family, and more.
St. Baldrick's Ambassador, Shamari Brazile, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in March 2018 at the age of 13. Today, two and a half years after her diagnosis, she shows no evidence of disease. As a junior in high school, Shamari is always on the go. She loves playing field hockey and lacrosse and dreams of going to college to pursue a career as an intelligence analyst. Her dreams and goals have no limits.
The official 5-year survival rate for childhood cancers has risen from 80% to almost 85% overall.
The rise in survivorship overall is something to celebrate. It shows that research can save lives. But this statistic doesn't apply to an individual child or cancer type – it lumps all childhood cancers together. For some types of childhood cancer, the survival rates have drastically improved over time, but for other types, the treatments and outcomes have not changed much in decades. For far too many types of childhood cancer, there still is no effective treatment or cure – which shows the need for more research.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is not trying to give kids 5 more years, it's trying to give them a lifetime.
It is St. Baldrick's priority to provide funding to the best research, wherever it takes place, so that kids, like Shamari, can dare to dream and live to achieve their goals.
Because of money raised by St. Baldrick's supporters and generously given by donors, St. Baldrick's is the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants and has been a leading force in moving research forward. St. Baldrick's-funded research has led to major breakthroughs, including increasing the survival from 82% to 94% for children with high-risk non-Hodgkin lymphoma; identifying a new way to use Rituximab for kids' cancer, a drug previously approved for adult cancers; and developing treatments like Kymriah, the first FDA approved gene therapy ever to be accepted in the U.S. However, despite progress for childhood cancer research, more must be done.
"For more than 20 years, St. Baldrick's participants and donors have been working to see that kids with cancer have better treatment options. Our goal is not to give kids five more years, but to give kids a lifetime," says Becky Chapman Weaver, Chief Mission's Officer of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. "By funding research at every stage, from early discovery to clinical trials, we are giving kids with cancer and their families hope. We want kids to know that thousands of St. Baldrick's supporters are always fighting for them."
Help give kids a lifetime. Join St. Baldrick's this September and support promising research through any of the activities below:
- Donate: Donate to help kids like Shamari live longer, healthier lives.
- Participate: Join us on September 20 along with dozens of others – virtually – to shave your head online. Or Do What You Want to get creative and raise money your own way. You can also find us on Tiltify and start your streaming fundraiser!
- Advocate: Join the Speak Up for Kids' Cancer advocacy action network to encourage lawmakers to increase funding for childhood cancer research.
- Play: Our national partner, Schick Extreme, will make a donation every time you play Shave the Day.
Get Social: Follow St. Baldrick's on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Like and share our content using the hashtag #StBaldricks or #GiveKidsALifetime.
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 conquer 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 #GiveKidsALifetime.
SOURCE St. Baldrick's Foundation