St. Baldrick’s Foundation Awards Cancer Research Grant to Valley Children’s

Young girl wearing white and pink head bandana

(Madera, California) – St. Baldrick’s Foundation – the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants in the country – has awarded Valley Children’s Hospital with a $25,000 grant for the coordination and treatment of children on clinical trials, and the advancement of life-saving oncology research.

“Though the rise in survivorship is something to celebrate, many treatments and their lasting effects have not changed much in decades, and for some types of childhood cancer, there still is no cure. We can see that our investment in research is yielding results, but there is so much more to do,” says Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick's CEO. “These clinical trials that St. Baldrick’s is supporting will help research progress further to help more children survive and have a better quality of life after treatment.”

Valley Children’s grant will partially fund a clinical research associate to ensure that more kids can be treated on clinical trials, often their best hope for a cure. This year, St. Baldrick’s has chosen to award the grant to pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. Karen Fernandez.

“It is truly an honor for me to accept this grant on behalf of Valley Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center,” Dr. Fernandez says. “The clinical trials we conduct today will lead to a better future for our children, offering hope for a life after cancer with fewer side effects. It takes our entire team – from my fellow specialists like Dr. Vonda Crouse to our researchers to our oncology social workers – to make progress. Our kids are counting on us and thanks to St. Baldrick’s, our vital work can continue.”

Infrastructure Grants are awarded based on the needs of the institutions and their patients, anticipated results of the grant and local participation in St. Baldrick's fundraising events and activities. Valley Children’s is one of only two California hospitals - and 17 nationwide – to receive an infrastructure grant this year.

This series of grants brings the St. Baldrick's Foundation's funding total to more than $19 million awarded in 2020. Since 2005, St. Baldrick's has awarded more than $305 million to support the most promising childhood cancer research, no matter where it takes place.

“St. Baldrick’s Foundation has provided critical support to our Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program since its inception in 2009, helping to sustain a vital service to our patients,” said Dr. Vinod Balasa, medical director of Valley Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. “This year’s investment in oncology research will help our organization continue to conduct cutting-edge research in the midst of the pandemic. We are so grateful for their generosity spanning more than a decade.”

Since 2009, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $533,000 in childhood cancer research grants to Valley Children’s.

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