These grants are designated to either help institutions treat more kids on clinical trials (their best hope for a cure) or provide resources to make more research possible.
St. Baldrick’s began as a challenge between friends and has exploded into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick’s donors and volunteers made possible over $15 million in funding for childhood cancer research in 2008 alone; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of 28 institutions to receive funding as part of St. Baldrick’s Fall grants which totaled over $2.4 million.
The grant awarded to UNC will be used to fund a dedicated Spanish interpreter for the pediatric oncology division at the N.C. Children's Hospital. The interpreter will improve patient care by facilitating fluid communication between the entire care team—comprised of physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, recreational therapists, hospital school teachers, and others—and the patients and their families. The interpreter will additionally help translate patient educational materials and consents for treatment protocols from English to Spanish.
“North Carolina has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the country, and we've seen the number of Spanish-speaking cancer patients increase at an astronomical rate,” says Stuart Gold, MD, chief of the division of pediatric hematology-oncology at the UNC School of Medicine and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“The addition of an interpreter is integral to us providing the same level of care to our Spanish-speaking families as we do our English-speaking families.”
St. Baldrick’s awards grants to institutions that meet stringent criteria and share the foundation’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and emphasis on research. St. Baldrick’s volunteer event organizers led the way to raising over $17 million in 2008 alone and St. Baldrick’s also considers these efforts in local communities to assist in determining grant recipients. To learn more about 2009 St. Baldrick’s events in North Carolina, click here.
“We have benefited from the support of the St. Baldrick's Foundation for many years, with our fellowship program and now with Spanish translation services,” adds Dr. Gold. “St. Baldrick's is a group of selfless individuals dedicated to improving the care of children with cancer, and what an excellent job they do.”
“Our volunteers and donors give hope to children and families touched by this dreadful disease,” says Kathleen Ruddy, Executive Director for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “Their passion and dedication to the cause turn that hope into reality and have helped make grants like these possible.”