Des Moines, IA (December 11, 2013) – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, is proud to award a one-year infrastructure grant of more than $50,000 to the Blank Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. This grant is one of 39 infrastructure grants awarded as part of the Foundation’s fall grant cycle, totaling more than $2.2 million in pediatric oncology research.
This infrastructure grant will support a clinical research assistant (CRA) in the Cancer Center. The addition of a CRA will afford the Cancer Center the opportunity to increase their clinical trial enrollments including not only therapeutic trials, but also biology banking, cancer control and childhood cancer research network by potentially 40 percent.
“Grants like these are helping to conquer childhood cancers. Support for St. Baldrick’s and Blank Children’s Hospital is helping not only the laboratory research necessary to find cures, but the everyday work required to operate pediatric oncology centers and care for patients,” Wendy Woods-Swafford, MD, MPH, Medical Director of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and SHINE Perinatal and Pediatric Palliative Care program.
Worldwide a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes, and one in five children diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive. A recent study shows that of those that survive, 80 percent will suffer from severe or life-threatening conditions as a result of treatment.
“While fewer than 5 percent of adults with cancer participate in a clinical trial, more than 60 percent of childhood cancer patients receive their treatment as part of a clinical trial, designed to offer the best cutting-edge treatment or one that may be better than today’s standard,” said Kathleen Ruddy, chief executive officer for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is proud to fund this latest round of infrastructure grants, many of which will make more clinical trials available for children closer to their homes. This offers today’s patients more hope and tomorrow’s patients more progress through research.”
Since 2004, Iowa volunteers have raised more than 1.2 million for childhood cancer research. On December 10, local St. Baldrick’s volunteers from Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance and IMT Computer Services presented the check to the Blank Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance employees have been involved with the St. Baldrick’s Funny Bone event held in West Des Moines, Iowa since 2007. Since then, their team, Iowa Chrome Domes, has raised over half a million dollars to conquer childhood cancers. IMT Computer Services employees have participated with the local head-shaving event since 2011, raising more than $56,000 for the cause.
This series of grants, combined with the more than $22 million awarded in July, brings the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s funding total to more than $24.5 million awarded in 2013.