Friday Frontline: Biden Holds Bipartisan Meeting on Cancer Research, Pediatric Patient ‘Donates’ Her Birthday to Help Other Children and More

March 5, 2021
Jessica Skarzynski
Jessica Skarzynski

From President Biden convening a bipartisan meeting to discuss cancer treatments and research to a 5-year-old patient with hepatoblastoma asking for donations to a local food bank instead of presents for her birthday, here’s what’s happening in the cancer space this week.

US President Joe Biden convened a bipartisan meeting in the oval office on Wednesday to kickstart conversations about cancer treatment and research.

After losing his son Beau Biden to brain cancer at the age of 45 in 2015, cancer research efforts have been a personal cause that President Biden now hopes to focus on while in office. He oversaw the Cancer Moonshot Initiative during his vice presidency tenure under the Obama administration, and launched the Biden Cancer Initiative in 2017, which eventually suspended operations when he announced his bid for the White House in 2019.

"We can make significant strides in fighting cancer and Alzheimer's and other diseases if we take a slightly different approach,” said Biden, ahead of the bipartisan meeting. “And what I want to talk to them about today is how we go about taking advantage of the work they’ve done to get us where we are today. Because I think we’re on the cusp of some real breakthroughs across the board on cancer. And that’s what we’re going to talk about.”

A nurse who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma surprised her father with the news that she is officially cancer-free in a viral video.

North Carolina native Victoria Glosson had been undergoing treatments for the disease for more than a year-and-a-half, after being diagnosed in her third semester of nursing school. Despite the pain of treatments, she continued to go to school and take care of patients and managed to earn her nursing degree recently. When her scans earlier this month came back clear, she decided to surprise her father, Sheriff Barry Glosson, by having him put on headphones and read her lips as she told him: “I’m cancer free.”

“I was overwhelmed with joy and very excited,” Barry Glosson told “World News Tonight.” “It was so scary to watch my daughter live this nightmare. The happiness in my heart is indescribable.”

Glosson will now move to the frontlines as an emergency department nurse in Greensboro, North Carolina. “This was such a long battle for me, and I couldn’t believe we finally got to the end of it,” she said. “I had to go through so much, and to reach this point was incredible.”

A breast cancer survivor launched a head scarf business that aims to help other women going through cancer treatment.

When Amy Hindman was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer shortly after giving birth in 2009, losing her hair left her wishing for better head covering options. “I started trying on different scarves and wearing wigs and realizing how absolutely

terrible a lot of the options on the market are, and also how hot and uncomfortable wigs are,” Hindman told Voice of America.

With help from grants from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Hindman created Saint Virginia Handcrafted Textiles, and now hand-produces scarves from organic materials and natural dyes to offer other patients with cancer a beautiful alternative to other scarves or wigs. Five percent of every sale benefits Facing Hereditary Cancer Empowered (FORCE).

Hindman credits not just other survivors, but her own daughters as inspiration for her work. “I owe it to my daughters and I want them to see how you can come back from something really hard and that you can get through it,” she said.

A pediatric patient with cancer opted to celebrate her 5th birthday with a fundraiser for other children.

Ansley Honeycutt had spent months away from home receiving multiple treatments for hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer. When she finally returned to her home in Wilmington, North Carolina, she was ready to celebrate her 5th birthday. But instead of gifts, Ansley asked for donations to Nourish NC, a local nonprofit that provides healthy food to children in the New Hanover County area.

To make her dream come true, her family set up a tent and decorations on the front yard, and asked friends and family to drive by and honk to share their love and drop donations off. According to Ansley Strong, a Facebook page the family uses to share updates about their daughter, her efforts gathered 159 pounds of food and $45.00 in donated funds which will all be used to hep feed hungry local children.

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