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Upstate receives St. Baldrick’s grant to benefit children with cancer

Upstate Medical University and Upstate pediatric hematologist and oncologist Karol Kerr, MD, have been awarded a one-year $48,000 2012 infrastructure grant from St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.

The 2012 infrastructure grants program awarded more than $2.1 million to 34 institutions nationwide, including Upstate. The grants can be used to treat more children on clinical trials or for resources to make more research possible.

This is the second consecutive year that Kerr has received a St. Baldrick’s infrastructure grant. Kerr is a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Upstate Cancer Center.

“The Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital strives to provide care for children in the central New York area,” says Kerr. “This is accomplished through the combined efforts of a dedicated, multi-disciplinary staff and community support as provided by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  By working together with doctors from around the country, we are able to care for all aspects of a child’s complex needs both medical and personal. Our goal is to not only cure cancer in children and young adults but to do so with minimal immediate and long term side effects.”

St. Baldrick’s grants are awarded based on the need of the institution and its patients, anticipated results of the grant and local participation in St. Baldrick’s events.

For several years, Upstate has participated in the annual St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events that are said to be the largest volunteer fundraising opportunity benefiting childhood cancer research. Last March, the event attracted 498 shavees, raising $371,889. The 2013 St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event will be held March 3 at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant in Syracuse. For more information about Upstate’s involvement in the March 3 fundraiser, contact Jim McKeever at mckeevej@upstate.edu.

Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Central New York to offer comprehensive pediatric services for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and blood disorders, including leukemia, anemia, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and solid tumors. Special inpatient and outpatient care units are dedicated to the care of children and young adults with cancer. Every year, more than 70 children are diagnosed with cancer in central New York. The children’s hospital at Upstate cares for nearly 5,000 children annually for chemotherapy, radiation and follow-up care.

Caption: Karol Kerr, MD, is a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Upstate Cancer Center.

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