Help Me Help Kids With Cancer

by jvaragona

Please donate here: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/jvaragona

For the 2nd time (I did this back in March of 2008) I will be shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research through The St. Baldrick’s Foundation. As of this post, I am at 51% of my $1000 goal. Of course I would love to surpass that by my shave date of March 8th.

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Why am I doing this? The most common question I get is: “Is that what your brother died from?” The answer is: absolutely not. Nevertheless, this is about kids suffering and dying when we could definitely be doing more to cure them and/or improve their quality of life through research.

Since its inception, St. Baldrick’s has raised over $188 million for childhood cancer research. It currently funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Examples of successes through research funded by the organization:

  • Only 1 in 3 kids with high-risk neuroblastoma (the most common kind) were cured, until research resulted in a new treatment that harnesses the power of the immune system. Now almost half may be cured. This is the first successful immunotherapy for a childhood cancer.
  • In one rare type of leukemia (Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia), less than 20% of kids were cured, and no progress had been made in 50 years. By adding a new drug (Gleevec), more than 70% can now be cured.

Why donate to this cause and not another? I’m not here to say this is the most worthy cause for your money. However, it is an extremely underfunded cause.

  • Currently, childhood cancer research funding accounts for less than 4% of all cancer research funding allotted by the federal government.
  • About 60% of all funding for drug development in adult cancers comes from pharmaceutical companies. For kids? Almost none, because childhood cancer drugs are not profitable.

Dr. Eugenie Kleinerman, head of the division of pediatrics at the Children’s Cancer Hospital at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center says “Curing childhood cancer is the equivalent of curing breast cancer in terms of productive life years saved.” We could be restoring the years lost by these children due to illness and death, so they can reach adulthood, make families, and make great contributions to society. These children are someone’s son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, and could be your own.

What prodding do you need to give a donation? Any amount will do and is never too small. If you or your business are willing to give $100 or more, you may include with it a challenge to me. This can be just to have me make an ass of myself and document it or to benefit your business or brand in some way, as long as it requires little to no monetary investment of mine. Need ideas?

I sing:

I dance:

I may not do either well though.

I have an audience of 4000+ Twitter followers, 245 YouTube subscribers and 608,000 views of videos I’ve posted (though many are not my own), so be creative. Let’s have fun with this and help conquer childhood cancers!

Please donate here: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/jvaragona

For more information on The St. Baldrick’s Foundation: http://www.stbaldricks.org/

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