September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: St. Baldrick’s Foundation Experts Available for Comment
Leading Pediatric Oncologists, Head of National Childhood Cancer Charity and Families affected by Childhood Cancer Available for Interviews
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — As September and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month approach, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, has leading pediatric oncologists, researchers, philanthropy executives and survivors available to discuss current issues affecting the pediatric cancer community.
The St. Baldrick’s experts featured below are willing to speak on topics including filling the funding gap for pediatric cancer research, curbing the drug shortage for childhood cancer treatments, the need for even adolescents and young adults to be treated on pediatric protocols, and the necessity for new and improved treatments.
-- Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's FoundationKathleen Ruddy is the Chief Executive Officer of the St. Baldrick's Foundation and has been with St. Baldrick's since 2001. Under Ruddy's leadership, the Foundation has grown into the largest nongovernment funder of pediatric cancer research, with funds raised primarily by volunteers who shave their heads for pledges. The daughter of two cancer survivors, Kathleen believes in paying it forward and has been a St. Baldrick's shavee(SM), herself. -- Jeffrey M. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., St. Baldrick's Board Member EmeritusDr. Lipton is the director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Cohen Children's Medical Center of N.Y. and a professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Medicine at Hofstra North-Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. A St. Baldrick's Board Member Emeritus, Dr. Lipton played a lead role in establishing the St. Baldrick's funding program, now the largest of any private grant-making foundation for pediatric cancer research. Today he continues to help oversee the progress of funding and participates in reviewing grant applications, a rigorous process modeled after the National Institutes of Health. -- Robert Arceci, M.D., Ph.D., St. Baldrick's Foundation Scientific Advisors ChairDr. Arceci serves as a member of the board of directors and leads the Foundation's Scientific Advisory Committee. He is currently the director of the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, co-director of the Ron Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine at Phoenix Children's Hospital, professor of Pediatrics at University of Arizona College of Medicine, and active at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Ariz. He is particularly interested in translational research in pediatric malignancies and optimizing comprehensive care for children and adolescents with cancer. -- Charles "Chuck" Chamness, Chairman of the St. Baldrick's Board of Directors and Father of Joey, a childhood cancer survivor Chuck Chamness is the current chairman of the St. Baldrick's board of directors. He is also the president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies in Indianapolis, Ind. Chamness lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Briget, and their four children, all of whom, like dad, have been St. Baldrick's shavees. As a shavee and volunteer event organizer in 2005, he became committed to the Foundation's mission when his son Joey was being treated for osteosarcoma. Today, Joey is a healthy, active 16-year-old childhood cancer survivor. -- Amy Bucher, Advocate and Mother of ArdenAmy Bucher has been an active advocate for increased funding for childhood cancer research since her oldest daughter, Arden, was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in 2007. In 2008, Arden passed away a few months before her fourth birthday. Keeping her memory alive, the Buchers honored Arden by agreeing to name her as one of the five St. Baldrick's 2011 Ambassadors. Amy is currently a member of the board of directors, chairing the advocacy committee, and is passionate about the need for more effective, less toxic treatments for kids with cancer. She participated in the St. Baldrick's 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave event, shaving her head for St. Baldrick's in September of 2010. -- Survivors and Families St. Baldrick's can also connect media with local childhood cancer survivors and families to discuss the importance of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month as well as share their first-hand experiences.
Experts can discuss and comment on the following key issues:
-- Worldwide a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes, and one in five children diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive. There has been great progress made over the last decade in childhood cancer research for many forms of the disease; however for other types, patients still have little hope. -- Previously only 4 percent of total federal cancer research dollars were designated for pediatric cancers and it is estimated that the National Cancer Institute budget will shrink by 7 percent with the most recent budget cuts, further impacting childhood cancer research. -- Committed to advancement through research, St. Baldrick's funds the most advanced research to make rapid progress in the treatments and protocols available to kids with cancer. Over the past 20 years, only two new drugs have been approved specifically for childhood cancer treatments. More must be done! -- Some cancer types strike only very young children, while others occur primarily during teenage years. Adolescents and young adults who are treated on pediatric cancer protocols have a 30 percent higher chance of beating their disease than if treated on an adult protocol. -- A cure is not enough. More than 95 percent of childhood cancer survivors will have a chronic health problem and 80 percent will suffer from severe or life-threatening conditions as a result of the very treatment that saved their life.
St. Baldrick’s exists to fill the funding gap for pediatric cancer research – a gap that is growing at an alarming rate. This summer, St. Baldrick’s announced funding of more than $22 million for new innovative childhood cancer research projects. There are many visual opportunities to build out stories about St. Baldrick’s during September. We can have you attend a signature St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event, visit the lab of a St. Baldrick’s funded researcher or meet with a St. Baldrick’s Honored Family.
About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $125 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials, and the new International Scholar grants train researchers to work in developing countries. For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation please call 1.888.899.BALD or visit www.StBaldricks.org.
SOURCE St. Baldrick’s Foundation