HOUSTON - Lauren Bendesky, a 17-year-old rising high school senior, will be traveling from her home state of Florida to Houston to participate in an internship with pediatric oncology researchers at MD Anderson. She will be contributing to research on the very same type of cancer that she recently overcame.
Bendesky was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma when she was 14 years old. Spending most of her time in the hospital for treatment, Lauren finished her school coursework from her hospital bed. Her scans now show no evidence of disease.
Gearing up to study biology in college, she plans to go on to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist.
Bendesky is one of five 2014 St. Baldrick s Foundation Ambassadors. Through that role, she was offered the opportunity by St. Baldrick s researcher and MD Anderson physician, Dr. Dean Lee, to participate as an intern on his research team this summer.
Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumors of childhood, and patients have very low survival if it recurs after initial treatment.
Lauren and the research team will be testing a specific treatment's ability to target neuroblastoma.
Since 2005, St. Baldrick s has granted more than $6 million to Houston area institutions.