Mom-to-be, Andrea Roth, recently opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about entering motherhood in her 40s and how she’s been preparing for the baby. The Rescue Me star – who is expecting her baby girl within days – is now talking about a charity close to her heart: St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
CBS: Your fiancé, producer Todd Biermann, first introduced you to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. What has drawn the two of you to this foundation?
AR: “I was lucky to have learned of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation through my fiancé Todd Biermann, who had been involved for a few years as a shavee. I was moved by his passion for the Foundation and the commitment that the shavees, supporters and volunteers had. The head-shaving event we attended was a warm and fun time where adults and children, including children who have undergone treatment, mingled together and watched as many shaved their heads in solidarity with children with cancer- all the while raising money for cancer research.
When we moved to Los Angeles last year there wasn’t a Baldrick’s event in our area so we decided to put together an event of our own. We, along with Todd’s brother Eric and St. Baldrick’s organized a Hollywood event at a bar/restaurant owned by some friends.
We had a great turnout for our first effort and were really pleased with the money we raised and the awareness we helped spread. It seems the more involved we get the more enriching an experience it becomes, which in turn, helps us want to continue to do more.
The fact that every 3 ½ minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer is a devastating fact that we just can’t wrap our head around, and the only way to change it, is to continue to raise funds for childhood cancer research.”
CBS: Does the foundation help children whose families are unable to pay for cancer treatments?
AR: “No. The mission of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is to fund childhood cancer research. The Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any other organization except the United States government.
St. Baldrick’s provides grants to over 240 institutions for laboratory and clinical research and to help make clinical trials available to more children than ever, giving those children treatment that offers the best chance for a cure and long-term survival. St. Baldrick’s also funds Fellows and Scholars, younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow.
CBS: Have you or Todd known any children who have had cancer? Have you ever gone to children’s hospitals and met children who are living with cancer? If so, what have these children taught you?
AR: “We’ve been very fortunate that none of our friend’s or family’s children have been affected by cancer. But through different St Baldrick’s events we have met many children who have, and we feel blessed to have met these brave children. The strength and warmth that these kids show after going through cancer treatment is truly inspiring. Their faces light up at the events with such a pure and simple joy, and watching them inspire other young kids and adults to shave their heads in solidarity is always a highlight.
In less than a month we have a little girl arriving into this world. I can’t imagine the devastation as a parent, finding out that their child has cancer, of having to watch their child fight that battle. I can’t imagine what these brave children and their families have to go through. The only thing I can do to help, is donate and volunteer my services to St. Baldrick’s wherever and whenever I can.”
CBS: What is the incidence/rate of childhood cancers? Has there been an increase in recent years?
AR: “It has risen a little over the past 30 years. At the same time, deaths from cancer have decreased tremendously for kids under age 15. That said, some types of childhood cancer are still quite deadly, and the survival rate for teens has not increased much. Sadly, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children.
CBS: How can we become involved in the fundraising efforts?
AR: “Anyone and everyone can get involved in St. Baldrick’s battle against childhood cancer- and they should! You can shave your head and collect donations, you can volunteer your time, or you can reach into your pockets. Visit StBaldricks.org and see what options appeal to you. From simply attending a local event in your own community to get an idea of how much fun and inspiring it can be, to starting a team of shavees for an event in your area, to beginning your own event with the help of the wonderful and dedicated people at St. Baldrick’s, there is no shortage of ways for anyone to contribute to the cause year round. Volunteer, reach into your pockets or shave your head in solidarity. Be a hero for kids with cancer!”