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Welcome to Childhood Cancer Talk Radio powered by Jack's Angels Foundation where we talk about real experiences, advocacy news, developments in research, and today's heroes for kids!

For guest and promotional information, download our "Prospective Guest Letter."

Our primary purpose is to provide a powerful voice of hope in the advocacy/activist movement for our children with cancer, and to encourage more conversation in the world at large about prioritizing our children afflicted with cancer in our medical research system. Currently, very little of our government budget for cancer research benefits pediatric cancer directly, while cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in children in the United States. The system is driven primarily for short-term investment profits rather than the long-term gains in creating new industry and jobs that scientific breakthroughs, and in this case a cure, would typically bring. 

We focus on what actions are being taken currently, by parents, advocates and activists, and our representative voices in Government on the behalf of children to prioritize them in our system. Our workers in the science and tech world devoted to helping create a more responsive system are welcome to share their news and innovations to greater public awareness and application. And of course, we invite our scientists on the front lines of research and clinical work to share their developments, new directions, and hope.

We work for the day when no parent hears there's no solution for their child because, "the numbers aren't great enough for investors."

 

Nicole Vathy and "Baby" Shawn face DIPG with the Golden Niagara Falls of September

Nicole Vathy, single mom of seven, shares her journey with her youngest, Shawn, who has been diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.  Shawn is one of the few who survive past the year mark to two years with a stable tumor.  Nicole candidly shares with us this very difficult road with humor, horse sense, and a mother's love.  Go for the Goal and Punt organizations are local childhood cancer groups benefiting from the Golden Steps 4 Pediatric Cancer led by Baby Shawn at Niagara Falls, a precedent setting event "going gold" for children with cancer all over the world.

 

 

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More Life and Love to Remaining Days

Suzanne Gwynn has served as a critical care nurse for more than 35 years, in both the United States and Canada. During the first decade of her career, she served medically fragile patients who suffered from a variety of life limiting diseases in acute care settings. These experiences solidified her dedication to the field and encouraged her desire to specialize.  She shares with us today her vision for LadyBug House, a concept and plan for leadership in palliative and acute care for child and adolescent patients in the United States, beginning in Seattle, WA.  

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Swifty Foundation: Cure Pediatric Brain Cancer

Al Gustafson is on the Advisory Council of the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium and serves on the Board of Swifty Foundation, among several others; in addition to his work in ministry, Al is the president of the Gustafson Family Foundation, a private foundation promoting the development and education of young children at risk.  His son Michael was diagnosed with medullablastoma which unfortunately recurred after treatment and a declaration of having been cancer free; he knew he would not be here long, and succumbed to the disease in 2013.  He shared with his family his excitement at the opportunity to donate his body to science after much introspection as to what his life meant after his prognosis was certain.  His vision, to cure brain cancer, and the name Swifty defines the Foundation that has arisen and flourished as a result of his ultimate sacrifice.
Not only is Swifty Foundation successful at raising funds for pediatric brain cancer research, they are designing a program which facilitates urgently needed tissue donation for research.  This much-needed program shows promise of having greater implementation on a nationwide basis, and further facilitating the research so urgently needed to save lives. 

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BPDCN Update with Caitlin and Kelly Lee

Caitlin joins us with her mom Kelly to update her progress since treatement for BPDCN, Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm, a rare and aggressive form of leukemia.  Caitlin describes as best she can her experience with chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplant, and the tough decisions a very young girl has had to make with her family.  Caitlin's grace and sense of hope is inspiring; she is truly a force for hope, compassion, and purpose in the world today.  She is currently selling t-shirts to help give back to the all-to-often-forgotten teenagers at the pediatric clinic where she was--with special cards and age-appropriate items for them.  Caitlin is the 3rd child so diagnosed in the United States and the first known survivor.  We look forward to Caitlin's next update!

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With Love and Hope from Mexico

From Monterrey Mexico, childhood cancer advocate Christina Wascher joins the show with Kristoffer Nordstrom, father to 5-year-old Linnea who is currently undergoing treatment there for DIPG, with hopeful success 6 weeks into treatment.  The Nordstrom family is from Sweden and they are prepared to remain at least six months in Mexico for Linnea's treatment.  With Dr.s Siller, Garcia and Rodriguez, each specializing in a different modality, a more holistic approach to brain cancer treatment is showing great promise for further development, even for the dreaded DIPG.  Christina Wascher advocates for children with cancer but focusing on DIPG right now, as the research represents the frontier of our medical knowledge and the need for solutions, dire.  She assists families as well as advocating for the research itself for greater collaboration between scientists in the world. 

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Recent Shows
Title Date
Nicole Vathy and "Baby" Shawn face DIPG with the Golden Niagara Falls of September
08-10-2017
More Life and Love to Remaining Days
07-27-2017
Swifty Foundation: Cure Pediatric Brain Cancer
07-20-2017
BPDCN Update with Caitlin and Kelly Lee
07-13-2017
With Love and Hope from Mexico
07-06-2017
Advocacy, Research, and TNCI with Beth Anne Baber
06-22-2017
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About Janet


Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.


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