My Name is Nathalie, and I am a Dragonslayer



My name is Nathalie & I am a Dragonslayer. I’m a 15 year old sophomore at Sunset High School. I have Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma or ASPS, an extremely rare sarcoma, which I have been fighting for over 2 years. Having a rare type of cancer, as many of you probably know, is no piece of cake. We’ve had to research and think out of the box for ideas for my treatment. This includes nine surgeries, radiation, and various experimental drugs, one of which we fought long and hard for, but succeeded, in getting. Finding treatment for sarcoma can sometimes feel like slaying a dragon.

However, through this event we are working hard to change that. Though it’s never been easy for me to get here, whether its crossing the finish line on crutches or breaking out from the hospital with a pass from the doctors, my family and I have the greatest memories of participating in the Dragonslayer. There’s a positive energy felt by all who attend, because everyone knows they are facing or have faced the same thing as everybody else there. It brings together fighters, survivors, friends, family not in defeat, but in a celebration.

I am a Dragonslayer, and so is everyone gathered here at Cook Park. Everyone involved, even if you couldn’t attend in person, is making a difference for sarcoma research. I have strong hope that in the future, we will no longer be known as the “forgotten cancer.” 

Warren Buffett once said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”  We are all planting that tree. We are all paving the way for future sarcoma Dragonslayers, helping them to have access to newer and better treatments. My name is Nathalie and I am a Dragonslayer.


Jenna W. Pediatric Help$ Program


We are thrilled to announce expansion of the Jenna Westerholm Pediatric Help$ Program, effective immediately, to all qualifying pediatric sarcoma patients in Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. This increase in service is possible due to the fundraising efforts of the Westerholm Family, the commitment of the foundation’s board of directors to serve more need, and your gifts.

Learn more about Jenna here and visit The Dragon's Last Ride to learn how you can support this important need-based financial assistance program which grew from everlasting love for Jenna.


UW-OHSU Research Collaboration Funded by NWSF

Northwest Sarcoma Foundation is pleased to announce the distribution of directed research gifts for 2013 to the University of Washington Foundation and Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation totaling $50,000.  This funding is specifically for the development of a tumor bank at the University of Washington which will store pediatric and adult sarcoma tumor samples for research.  This is a collaborative effort between the University of Washington and Oregon Health & Science University which allows regional, national, and international organizations to have access to these cells for research. 

Ava, Dragonslayer Extraordinaire

Join Ava....a sweet, vivacious, creative nine-year-old girl with big brown eyes and a smile that would chase away the grayest northwest day as she and "Team Ava" walk in support of Northwest Sarcoma Foundation's Dragonslayer Bike, Hike or Trike event on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Green Lake Park in Seattle.  Click here to learn more about this amazing little girl.



Katie's Bringing Sarcoma Awareness to Alaska

The Dragon’s Last Ride is a motorcycle ride which funds the Jenna Westerholm Pediatric Help$ Program to provide grants to families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s Hospital for sarcoma cancers.  It is held annually in the Seattle area in memory of Jenna Westerholm and other children who have lost their lives to sarcoma cancers, and is administered by Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.


We are pleased to announce that this year the ride will be held in Seattle AND in Alaska.  Join Katie as she brings sarcoma awareness to Alaska.  Katie and others just like her deserve a chance at a cure, and support while they are awaiting one. 



Prom Katie 113


Katie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her left proximal tibia three days after her 15th birthday in October 2011. Over twelve months, she endured intense chemotherapy, multiple surgeries/procedures, and ongoing infections. In July 2012 her end-of-  treatment scans were clear and there was no evidence of disease. It was not safe for her to return to Alaska at that time because she had dangerous infections in her leg. By the time her three-month post-treatment scans were performed, the cancer had returned and metastasized to her lung. She has since had tumors removed from both lungs and was told on November 8th that her chance of survival is 20%. She was also told that a recurrence is not just possible but likely, and that her chances of survival diminish with each recurrence.  We were away from home for over 13 months and made it home just in time for Christmas 2012.  To say that there was an extreme financial burden is a gross understatement. If not for organizations like Northwest Sarcoma Foundation and the Jenna Westerholm Pediatric Help$ Program, our very difficult situation would have been even more so. ~ Darlis Elliott

Getting "Stronger" with Seattle Children's Hospital

11 year old Lauren, a Ewing's Sarcoma patient and others at Seattle Children's Hospital remake Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" Music Video. To read more click here. And here's the video:

Josh's Story

Outrunning Cancer

Support Northwest Sarcoma Foundation on Crowdrise,

Serena Burla, 28, sarcoma survivor and Olympic hopeful

Burla recently ran a personal best of 2:35:08 at the Prague Marathon and was the runner-up at January's U.S. Half-Marathon Championships in 1:11:38. Read more about Serena:

Angela Alleyne, 44, sarcoma survivor

Angela Alleyne joined Team in Training in Brooklyn last year because, she says, "they promised to turn a woman who could barely run for the bus into a woman who could run a marathon." When she began training for New York, though, she developed a nagging hip injury. An MRI revealed a mass the size of an egg. "That was the first time I heard the word sarcoma," she says. "I asked my doctors if I could keep training and have surgery after my marathon." With their blessing, she did just that, finishing in 6:05. "The memory of the strength and stamina it took to run a marathon buoyed me through my surgery and recovery," she says. Alleyne hopes to start running again this summer, and wants to enter the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half-Marathon in December. "Sarcoma is often painless and can go undiagnosed for years," she says. "If I didn't decide to run New York, I don't know if I would've discovered my cancer. Running literally saved my life."

Amy Dodson, 48, sarcoma and lung cancer survivor

Amy Dodson lost her left leg below the knee to sarcoma when she was just 19. Two years later, a cancerous lung was removed. Disabled? Running on a carbon-fiber prosthetic leg, Amy has a marathon PR of 3:35, is a four-time national half-marathon champion, has done two Ironmans, and is a two-time ITU World Paratriathlon champ. This month, she'll run her first Western States 100, among the toughest races on Earth. "One of the great ironies of my life is that because of my childhood cancer, I couldn't run with two legs," says Amy, who lives and trains in Sahuarita, Arizona. "But freed from the pain, with one leg and one lung, I can run forever. Cancer may have ravaged my body, but running saved my soul."

What it Takes To...

More stories of amazing runners fighting battles with cancer.

Terry Fox | When Running Met Cancer

For more than 30 years, our sport has played a vital role battling the deadly disease.

Share Your Sarcoma Stories

If you would like to share your story or make a tribute, please send us your personal sarcoma experience (max. ~500 words), 2 photos (high quality) or link to a YouTube video. Please submit materials to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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