Kathleen poses with the St. Baldrick’s office’s honorary Knight Crusader, who wears a medal and crown.
In an age of storytelling, St. Baldrick’s has an interesting one. Three resourceful men – John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell – founded the charity based upon a challenge to shave their heads bald. Eighteen years later, St. Baldrick’s helps children worldwide, has engaged volunteers on six continents and is the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants in the world.
That is the power of individuals. But John, Tim and Enda didn’t do all of this on their own.
Honored Kid Jack is selfless, brave, passionate, and funny. The seventh grader works hard, even when the odds are against him and if he could be friends with everyone in the world, he would be. In a word, Jack is special. Even cancer couldn’t take that away from him. And that’s what makes him a legendary hero to us — and this year’s League Champion of the St. Baldrick’s League of Legendary Heroes. You can be a legendary hero too! Get started today.
Jack was named 2018 League Champion for the League of Legendary Heroes because of his dedication to fundraising for kids’ cancer research. Photo by Courtney Van Alice Photography
Driving home from a visit with her sister, Vickie decided to run an errand. She pulled into the parking lot at Office Depot and stopped the car, expecting her son, Jack, to get out with her. But he didn’t.
“He’s like, ‘I can’t get out of the car, Mom. I can’t move,’ And I was like, ‘What? You were just wrestling with your cousin.’”
2017 was a big year, full of breakthroughs, incredible stories and some pretty amazing achievements in the childhood cancer world. Join us as we reflect on St. Baldrick’s top 10 highlights of the past year — and make sure you give yourself a pat on the back, because much of this was possible because of YOU!
Are you ready to take a trip down memory lane? Here we go …
1) Passage of the RACE Act
Someone you know is shaving their head for childhood cancer research and is asking YOU for a donation. But why should you give?
Adam Rosowicz once told his wife that he’d give his life if it would save one kid with cancer. Now, thanks to his love for St. Baldrick’s and others’ love for him, the long-time shavee and his family are saving countless lives. Since Adam’s passing in June from cancer, the St. Baldrick’s memorial page established in his honor has raised $30,000 – and counting – to fund childhood cancer research and help kids live long, healthy lives.
Adam and Christine, married for 21 years, share a kiss during a St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event.
When Adam Rosowicz was in college, he worked multiple jobs to help his parents with the cost of tuition. When he was renovating a house with his wife, Christine, he would run wires at night, so she wouldn’t be without electricity during the day. And year after year, he would sit down in the St. Baldrick’s barber’s chair with a smile on his face, a beer in his hand and zero hesitation. That was the kind of man he was. Generous, hardworking and kind, Adam put everyone else before himself.
First comes Black Friday. Then Cyber Monday. Then, on November 28, it’s #GivingTuesday, the day when people around the world give back. This year, our face of Giving Tuesday is Honored Kid Grace – AKA the Ninja Princess. Why is she jazzed about raising critical funds for research? Maybe because researchers are cancer-fighting ninjas just like her!
7-year-old Honored Kid Grace loves everything pink, frilly and powerful. She’s been learning karate since this summer and recently earned her orange belt, even after relapsing with cancer.
When she relapsed in August, Grace’s first question to her mom, Melissa, was a question no parent ever wants to hear.
The 7-year-old asked, “Will I die?”
“‘No,’ we told her, because we were going to fight the cancer,” Melissa recalled. “‘Good,’ she said, ‘because I want to grow up and get married and be a mom.’”
Rightly known as the ‘Ninja Princess,’ Grace Ellen has fought for most of her life. Her parents affectionately call her their ‘alpha female,’ because, as her mom said, “she’s always known who she is, what she likes, and she doesn’t let anything get in her way. Not even cancer.”
Kathleen smiles with (from left to right) Beau, Hannah, Charli, Kathleen and (front) Josey at the Hannah’s Heroes event in Grand Cayman.
Before my recent visit to Grand Cayman for their annual Big Shave, I had only read of the concept of CaymanKind; now I have experienced it firsthand. The people of these three tropical islands are remarkably hospitable, sunny in outlook and overflowing with philanthropic spirit.
You’ve shaved every year for the past few years and have the nagging feeling that your fundraising is getting stale. Your bald head just isn’t bringing in the dollars that it used to. What can you do?
Meet Eugene, team captain of number two-ranked team, Savage Cuts Consulting, at the successful Hanna’s Heroes St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event in the Cayman Islands. He has 3 tips to energize your fundraising …
Longtime participant and recent team captain, Eugene, shaves during the 2017 Heroes for Hannah St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event in the Cayman Islands. Photograph by Deep Blue Images
1) ‘I Challenge You … ‘
They say the early bird gets the worm, but at St. Baldrick’s, the early bird gets a cruise! That’s right – it’s time for the St. Baldrick’s Participant Sweepstakes, when participants who register and raise money early get a chance at the trip of a lifetime. Read on for tales from last year’s lucky shavee and the details on how YOU can be a winner.
Six-time shavee Jim and his family won big through the St. Baldrick’s Participant Sweepstakes — they won a weeklong Disney cruise! Here they are enjoying the beach at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.
When Jim Varagona got an email saying he had won a free trip, he was skeptical. Did he get hacked? Was it a scam?
“I read the email and it looked legit, but you can’t be too sure when being told you’re a prize winner,” he said.
Then he listened to a voicemail he had just received. It was from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. A six-time shavee and passionate fundraiser for kids’ cancer research, Jim had been randomly picked as the winner of the 2016 St. Baldrick’s Participant Sweepstakes.
Need some inspiration? Meet 10-year-old Mason. The baseball player with the big heart is a St. Baldrick’s team captain and three-time shavee℠. What keeps this special kid shaving and fundraising for kids’ cancer research? Read on to find out.
Mason is all smiles after his first shave with St. Baldrick’s in 2015 (left) and his second shave in 2016.
No one has ever won the Forsyth County school district’s “Spirit of Rachel” award twice – until Mason.
Created in memory of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shootings, the award remembers her legacy of compassion and kindness to others. It recognizes an elementary school student in the North Carolina school district who exemplifies this character.
Nominated by his teachers, Mason was its first two-time recipient. Ever.
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