St. Baldrick's awards grant to Children's Hospital

Thursday, December 23, 2010 | 5:38 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — St. Baldrick's Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for childhood cancer research, has awarded a $25,848 grant to MU to fund research and treatment of childhood cancer through clinical trials.

Among other things, the grant will allow the MU Women's and Children's Hospital to increase and improve services for children with cancer, especially minority children, and provide educational opportunities for hospital staff. 

"The MU Children's Hospital Division of Hematology and Oncology is proud and privileged to receive this infrastructure support grant from the St. Baldrick's Foundation," Thomas Loew, director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, said in a press release. 

"In total, this grant will provide a significant stepping stone for our program to continue its current expansion to better serve the needs of our patients and families," Loew said in the release.

MU is one of 25 institutions that have been awarded fall grants that total $1.3 million, according to the release. The foundation looks at several criteria when considering an institution for an infrastructure grant, said interim spokeswoman Traci Shirk. 

"For our infastructure grants, we want to fund the best research out there," Shirk said. "We also look at the need of the institution and their involvement in St. Baldrick's events throughout the year."

While the foundation holds a variety of events nationwide, it is best known for its shaving events. Participants known as "shavees" shave their heads to raise awareness and donations for children diagnosed with cancer and the foundation. The foundation had a record-breaking year in 2010 for participants, with a total of 38,000 shavees nationwide. 

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