Volunteers go bald for St. Baldrick's to support children with cancer
Over 50 volunteers went bald for St. Baldrick's on Saturday, signing up to shave their heads in support of childhood cancer victims as well as to raise money for research.
The annual St. Baldrick's Foundation head-shaving event was held Saturday, May 5, at the Red Lion Fire Co. Station 34, 201 W. Broadway.
The fundraising goal for the event was $25,000, and it was held in honor of Kai Sanborn, 7, of Seven Valleys, and Scot Becker, 17, of Spring Grove. Kai was treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Scot was treated for a tumor that affected his brain and spinal cord. Both are now cancer-free and participated in the event.
Participants get pledges in exchange for having their heads and beards shaved. The idea behind the event is to relate to the trials of children who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment while raising money for cancer research, according to Jason Mosebach, St. Baldrick's event coordinator.
"With the therapies they go through, a child loses the hair on their head. To show solidarity, we raise money on our heads," Mosebach said.
The event also had an "honored angel," David Hayes of Airville, who died of cancer in 2013 after an aggressive course of treatment.
"We think about him every day, and we honor him at the event," Mosebach said.
Mosebach said that Kai and Scot are now in remission and have participated in the event with their families for the past four years.
"They continue to help us fight for them," he said.
Mosebach's friend Kevin Miller joined him in the head-shaving event.
"Our families get together, we bleach our hair out and then dye it our color. Then we have a good time with these kids and families to raise money for this awesome cause," Miller said.
Christy Becker, Scot's mother, said that her son has been cancer-free for four years and will be graduating from Spring Grove Area High School in June.
"We thank God every day," she said.
Brooks Sanborn, Kai’s father, said that his son struggled with cancer from the time he was 21 months old and endured chemotherapy for five years until he finally finished last October.
Sanborn said that his family participates in the event because of the community he became a part of during his son's illness, as well as all of the children he met who "don't have many options" and remain on the front lines of medical research in order to survive.
That's why fundraising events such as St. Baldrick's are so important, he said.
"Research really is key at this point," he said.