Southern California breaking news and trends

How to turn an 'Ugly Sweater' into a cancer fundraiser

ugly sweater

Photo by TheUglySweaterShop via Flickr Creative Commons

If you or someone you love has an ugly sweater, listen up.

Stand Up To Cancer is running an "Ugly Sweater Holiday Campaign" that gives fashion offenders (photos below) a chance at redemption by turning their display of disastrous garb into money for cancer research. 

The campaign runs until Dec. 31 and there are two ways to participate: create a challange, or throw a party.

Create an "Ugly Sweater" challenge

  • Go to 
  • Create your own "Ugly Sweater" fundraising page.
  • Decide how many days to wear the questionable clothing item. 
  • Have your supporters donate a "per day" amount via the fundraising page.

Host An Ugly Sweater Party

  • Go to 
  • Create your own "Ugly Sweater" fundraising page.
  • Throw an "Ugly Sweater" party
  • Ask guests to give a suggested donation.
  • Ask guest to donate via your fundraising page.


Levon Helm of The Band, dead at 71

Levon Helm In Concert

Rob Loud/Getty Images

Drummer and singer Levon Helm performs during his concert at the Beacon Theatre on March 8, 2008 in New York City. Helm died on April 19, 2012 at age 71.

Former drummer and singer for The Band, Levon Helm, died of cancer on Thursday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, reports the Times Herald-Record. He was 71.

"We lost Levon at 1:30 today surrounded by friends and family and his musicians have visited him," said Larry Campbell, Helm's longtime guitarist and band leader. "As sad as this was, it was very peaceful."

According to Rolling Stone, Helm had been battling throat cancer since the 90s, undergoing 28 radiation treatments and eventually recovering his voice.

Helm cancelled a number of appearances in recent weeks, and a message from his wife and daughter appeared on his website Tuesday asking for prayers and love as he entered the "final stages of his battle with cancer."

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner


Possible new cancer treatment discovered at Children's Hospital LA

hospital iv drip

Photo by Allan Foster via Flickr Creative Commons

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles believe they have found a new approach to killing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells.

The discovery of a "fusion toxin that specifically targets cancer cells," could provide a treatment option for patients who become resistant to chemotherapy, according to a hospital news release.

"Although we have made tremendous progress in the treatment of leukemia, Dr. Heisterkamp and her colleagues’ research into drug-resistant disease fills a crucial need," said Brent Polk, MD, director of The Saban Research Institute.

ALL, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in children, also accounts for 30% of adult leukemia. 


Planned PR-hood: Susan G. Komen Foundation responds to backlash

susan g komen


Red-alert reaction to the pink ribbon organization has colored the past two days since breast-cancer research advocacy group Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation announced it would be cutting its support for Planned Parenthood.

Widespread backlash over the loss of more than $600,000 in grant money for breast exams has many questioning if Komen caved to political pressure. A top Susan G. Komen official has resigned over the decision, The Atlantic reported.

Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker has issued a face-to-screen video response to the Planned Parenthood controversy. Affirming her 30-year commitment to helping women, she says the changes only reinforce the foundation's mission.



Bald Barbie? Group petitions Mattel to create doll to support children with cancer

bald barbie

Image via Facebook

Ken you dig it? A movement called "Beautiful and Bald Barbie" launched a Facebook page just before Christmas in support of kids with cancer.

The group, with already more than 31,000 fans, is petitioning toy-manufacturer Mattel to build a Barbie that's undergone treatment and lost her hair.

The idea was created by friends Rebecca Sypin, a special ed. teacher's aide in Lancaster, Calif., and Jane Bingham, a photographer from New Jersey. Both have been affected by the disease.

We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania. Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother's hair loss from chemo. Many children have some difficulty accepting their mother, sister, aunt, grandparent or friend going from a long haired to a bald.

Accessories such as scarves and hats could be included. This would be a great coping mechanism for young girls dealing with hair loss themselves or a loved one. We would love to see a portion of proceeds go to childhood cancer research and treatment. Let's get Mattell's attention!