36 Rabbis Fight Childhood Cancer in Honor of Superman Sam

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 18, 2013

Our hearts broke at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation when we learned that Sam Sommer died last weekend.

Most of us knew him as Superman Sam, the 8-year-old boy who inspired a group of rabbis to commit to shaving their heads at their annual rabbinic convention in Chicago this March to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Many of us followed his story on his family’s blog. We knew Sam was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood, in June 2012. We knew he fought it hard and underwent a bone marrow transplant in August 2013. We knew his parents learned the transplant had failed on November 12, just two weeks after his mom and her friend conceived of the 36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave.

“Five hundred and twenty days ago we were told, ‘Your son has cancer.’ I never thought I could feel more pain than that day,” Sam’s mom, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, wrote after she received the news that Sam’s cancer was terminal. “I was wrong.”

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