From a former patient with cancer lives her dream of working alongside her doctor, to NASCAR crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr. announcing his cancer diagnosis, this is what’s going on in the oncology space this week.
Tommy Baldwin Jr. announced cancer diagnosis.
Tommy Baldwin Jr., NASCAR crew chief and team owner, revealed that he has been diagnosed with cancer and will be taking a temporary break from his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team, according to NBC Sports.
Baldwin, 56, posted a statement on X this past Sunday, saying, “Today, I post news that no one ever wants to hear … I have cancer. It’s treatable, but this week of racing will be the last for a while for the Tommy Baldwin Racing team. Going to take a break (and) begin treatment to beat it into the ground.”
Operating a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team full time, Baldwin worked closely with driver Doug Coby, who is fourth in the championship standings. Baldwin spent 23 years as a crew chief.
Baldwin encouraged everyone to get checked by a doctor if something feels wrong.
“This is not a post for pity. I want to let the world know that if you don’t feel right, go get checked out by a doctor now. Don’t wait. If I can save one life by posting this, I have done my job. Never be scared to go see the doctor — it could save your life. Take the message (and) share it with those you love before it’s too late. I will beat this challenge like every other. The grind begins now! Thanks to everyone for the support. See you all at the track as soon as possible.”
A GoFundMe was set up for saxophonist James Casey after cancer diagnosis.
James Casey, a saxophonist in the Trey Anastasio Band, received almost a quarter of a million dollars in donations so far, as his GoFundMe page skyrocketed.
The band member posted their gratitude to everyone who donated, saying, “First and foremost, I want to express my utmost appreciation and deepest gratitude for all your generosity and your support. Things have taken many turns, and all have been unexpected but your willingness to be patient while I go through this process has been more than appreciated. I’m not sure how far I can go on as it stands and it’s going to take a lot of work to focus on just health, separating my life from music for a while. For your prayers, wishes, strength, kindness and anything else you’ve been sending, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will try my best to make music for you again once more. Thank you,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Casey was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2021, and received multiple surgeries, while he missed the band’s fall tour. A year later, he returned.
Casey is using his platform to advocate for Black Americans who are diagnosed with colon cancer. Black Americans are “20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die from it than any other groups,” he said. His solo EP, “A Little Something For Everyone,” was used to advocate and raise money for the cause.
“No matter what happens today, you’ll be OK. That is the mantra I’ve had going through this cancer journey. I hope that it speaks to the people, because it spoke to me,” explained Casey to TODAY in March.
A former patient with cancer now works alongside her childhood cancer doctor.
Tae Butler was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when she was 9 years old, undergoing five, four-to six-week hospital trips, according to PEOPLE. Dr. Ted Moore, chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at UCLA, helped Butler get back on her feet throughout this time.
“He taught me how to use the stethoscope to listen to the heart. Instead of just coming in, listening and leaving, he was like, ‘Do you want to try?’ Hearing a heartbeat is so cool, especially as a kid. I always felt that he made sure that I understood what was happening,” explained Butler to PEOPLE.
Butler discussed how Moore sparked her curiosity from a young age, which was telling for her future as a medical student. “He nurtured my creativity and curiosity, and that resulted in me choosing this path,” Butler told PEOPLE.
Butler is a medical student at UCLA and has been cancer free for 17 years. Recently, she got to work alongside Moore. “It is a full-circle moment. To see my name next to his on the patient list, and it has me as primary intern…now we’re both on the team together,” stated Butler
Moore became inspired by Butler. “I see someone who has taken what could have been one of the worst tragedies and turned it into something absolutely incredible. She has the ability to understand and connect with patients,” Moore told PEOPLE.
Butler looks up to Moore every day, with hopes of making a similar impact that he did. “I’m trying to be just like him,” she explained.
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