The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
Interview with Karla Knudson, just one member of their current seven woman leadership team for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
We are not a business. We are a grassroots campaign for The St. Baldrick's Foundation. We raise funds for this foundation because every mother on our annual teams is the mother of a child who has or had cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives. Worldwide, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. Before they turn 20, about 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will have cancer. And in the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease—more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined. One in five kids diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive. Two-thirds of children treated for childhood cancer will suffer long-term effects from treatment including loss of hearing and sight, heart disease, secondary cancers, learning disabilities, infertility and more. Less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute's budget is directed to childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick's helps to fill this gap by funding the most promising pediatric oncology research.
What do your kids think about your job?
Our kids—those who are still living—have a variety of feelings about our collective work as advocates. Many of our survivors have taken up this cause as well; speaking at our events, shaving their heads, raising funds so that other kids yet to be diagnosed may have better odds. But many of our children have died. Some of them before they were old enough to fully understand the impact that the lack of funding for research had on their own lives. Some of our children who have died were also fierce advocates for the cause.
Tell us about a total mom + biz fail.
The work we do as advocates for this very personal cause is never a failure. We set fundraising goals and try to reach them. If we do not, we move forward and keep striving. As long as we continue to be a voice for our kids, and all families facing childhood cancer, we are not failing.
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
Our big win was reaching $1 Million raised before our 2013 shave! We set the goal in 2009 when planning our first event. Our 6th annual shave will be held in June 2015 and we have raised over $1.6 million to date!
What’s your relationship with Mamalode?
We are moms first. The 46 Mommas represent all mothers who make the cancer journey with their child. Our annual teams are comprised of mothers from across the U.S. and Canada, with different backgrounds, beliefs and lifestyles; there is one thing that we have in common—childhood cancer. From what we see, Mamalode is all about moms embracing themselves, celebrating themselves and supporting each other. We think that is pretty cool.