(Madera, California) – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has awarded $50,000 to Valley Children’s, as part of $1.7 million in funds distributed to hospitals around the country to treat more children in clinical trials. The infrastructure grant will go to Valley Children’s Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program.
“We are truly grateful for St. Baldrick’s continued support of our program,” says Dr. John Gates, pediatric hematologist/oncologist and director of Valley Children’s Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program. “These funds will help us identify the best ways to serve our patients and improve outcomes. Children deserve the very best, and that includes ensuring they continue to do well, long after their treatment here ends.”
The same treatments that cure cancer patients may put children at risk for long-term health problems. About two-thirds of survivors will experience at least one late effect, including physical, emotional and social issues that may require ongoing medical support. One out of four suffers a more serious or life-threatening late effect, such as heart problems or a second cancer diagnosis.
Established in 2009, Valley Children’s Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program aims to promote healthy lifestyles in former cancer patients as they enter adulthood. The program also advances research efforts to discover the most effective cancer treatments with the least amount of late effects on survivors. St. Baldrick’s has donated more than $450,000 to Valley Children’s over the last nine years.
Valley Children’s diagnoses nearly 150 new cases of pediatric cancer a year. The Hospital has one of the leading childhood cancer treatment centers on the West Coast and is the only provider of pediatric oncology services in the Central Valley. Since its creation, the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program has served more than 700 childhood cancer survivors.
Infrastructure grants from St. Baldrick's are awarded based on the need of the institution and its patients, anticipated results of the grant and local participation in St. Baldrick’s fundraising events and activities. These grants give institutions the resources they need to do more research.
“The majority of childhood cancer patients are treated on a clinical trial,” said Kathleen Ruddy, CEO of St. Baldrick’s. “Clinical trials offer children either the best-known treatment, or one that may prove to be better. Research relies on enrolling large numbers of patients on clinical trials to ensure results are meaningful and advancements are made. Funding from St. Baldrick’s will ensure more kids have access to clinical trials, giving them a better chance at a cure.”
This series of grants brings the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s funding total to more than $26 million awarded in 2018. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $258 million to support the most promising childhood cancer research, no matter where it takes place.