This Dedicated Shavee Won a Cruise…Will You Be the Next Winner?

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 30, 2017

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.

Jim and his family at the beach during their cruise

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.

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One Special 10-Year-Old: Mason’s Shavee Story

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 29, 2017

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 during his first and second shaves for St. Baldrick's

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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From Catharsis to Cures: How St. Baldrick’s Brings Hope to my Daughter

by Lauren Hammersley
September 26, 2017

In April of 2013, our family joined the club that no one wants to be in – the childhood cancer club. We were told that our 2-year-old daughter, Hazel, had Stage 3, high-risk neuroblastoma, which came with the added baggage of only about a 50% survival rate. To say we were utterly terrified and shell-shocked would be an understatement.

Hazel and her mom, Lauren, pose together

Honored Kid Hazel and her mom, Lauren, smile together during a day at the park.

But our daughter adapted to her new normal with ease and bravery. She guided us in our fight and inspired us in our determination to get through this arduous journey and give her the best chance, not only at survival, but at living a full life.

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If Only There Had Been a Cure in Time for David

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 5, 2017

Honored Kid David was bright, charming and totally dedicated to embracing life. He also had childhood cancer. David asked his family to fight for a cure — a cure that didn’t come soon enough for him. Read on to learn more about this spectacular 10-year-old, his childhood cancer journey and why his mom, Susan, is passionate about research.

David with his mom Susan at an event

David hugs his mom, Susan, at a fundraising event.

Who would David be if he had grown up?

His mom can’t help but wonder. If he’d lived, he’d be a teenager now.

Would he still have that obsession with colorful skinny jeans? Would that cello he insisted upon getting still be gathering dust? Would he still be that bubbly, charismatic kid she remembers?

What if childhood cancer research hadn’t failed him?

That’s what Susan Heard wonders.

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Zach’s Hometown Raises $100k for Kids’ Cancer Research

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 2, 2017

No one knows the importance of funding research better than the Swart family. Since receiving CAR T cell therapy and a bone marrow transplant, Honored Kid Zach Swart is getting healthier by the day. And it’s all thanks to research supported by St. Baldrick’s. Read on to find out how the Swart family — and their whole community — is giving back to research in a big way.

Shavees at the Saugerties, N.Y., event

The family of event organizer Gloria Darmanin line up to go under the clippers at the Saugerties, N.Y. event, which honored Zach and other local kids with cancer. Photo by Veronica Chewens

Zach had his 16th birthday last week. Despite not feeling well due to difficulty withdrawing from his pain medication, it was still cause for celebration.

His mom, Nancy, says there’s much to be thankful for.

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Going Bald and Getting Inked: Family Goes All in for Their Little Girl

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 27, 2017

When people say good things come in small packages, they must be talking about Honored Kid Gabriella. Read on to find out more about this pint-sized inspiration and how her family is showing their love not only for her, but also for other kids with cancer.

Gabriella with her sisters and mom

Gabriella with her sisters and mom, Jennifer. From left to right:  Sophia, Adriana, Gabriella, Jennifer, and Sabella.

There’s something very special about Gabriella. Behind her contagious laugh and love for cracking jokes is deep compassion for others far beyond her seven years. This gift gives Gabriella the ability to inspire and touch the hearts of all who know her.

But it wasn’t always that way.

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St. Baldrick’s Advocate of the Month: Diana Toohey

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 27, 2017

This July, St. Baldrick’s Advocate of the Month is Diana Toohey, the mom of Honored Kid Ethan. From his mom’s advocacy on Capitol Hill to the $325,000 raised in Ethan’s honor by his local St. Baldrick’s events, his story has made a big impact. Read on to learn why Ethan is such a huge inspiration to so many people, including his mom, and why she speaks up for kids’ cancer research in his honor.

Ethan in his favorite green shirt

Ethan smiles while wearing his favorite green shirt, which was emblazoned with the words, “Team 2E” in honor of Ethan and his family. Kids at his high school wore the shirts at a fundraiser in Ethan’s honor on the day he died.

Diana Toohey travels to Washington, D.C., for Childhood Cancer Action Days, she calls and emails her legislators, and speaks up for kids’ cancer research whenever she can. She does all of this so kids with cancer get the treatments and cures they need to survive.

But there’s another reason she makes those phone calls and knocks on those doors.

She loves saying her son’s name — Ethan.

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Shaving Our Way to $1 Million: A Sport Clips Partnership Update

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 16, 2017

In January 2016, we announced the start of an unprecedented partnership between St. Baldrick’s and Sport Clips Haircuts, which generously committed to donating more than $1 million over the next three years. Just a year and a half into our partnership, Sport Clips is taking childhood back from cancer in a big way.

Barber smiles while shaving a head

A Sport Clips barber smiles while shaving a participant’s head during the Sport Clips partnership kick-off head-shaving event in Texas.

The people of Sport Clips are more than the talented hands behind the buzz, more than the conductors of the clippers, more than St. Baldrick’s beloved barbers — they are our partners in conquering childhood cancers.

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A Kid on a Mission: Bodie’s Story

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 1, 2017

Meet 12-year-old Bodie Centore. He’s a six-time shavee, a team captain and a fundraising extraordinaire. He’s even written and performed an original rap (check out the video!) to help raise funds for children’s cancer research. Blown away by Bodie? So are we! Read on for more about this amazing kid, his creative fundraising and why he shaves.

Bodie after his 2017 St. Baldrick's shave

Bodie rocks the bald after this year’s St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event.

For Bodie Centore, the decision was easy. He saw his cousin, Ian, do it and knew right away that he wanted to shave his head for kids with cancer.

That was in 2012, when Bodie was only 7 years old.

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St. Baldrick’s Advocate of the Month: The Lautieri Family

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 31, 2017

Childhood cancer doesn’t just affect the child who’s diagnosed, it affects the entire family. May’s Advocate of the Month — the Lautieri Family — is fighting back. Read on for more about the family’s cancer journey with Honored Kid Grayson and why they continue to speak up and give back.

Grayson wears a Team Grayson hat

Grayson wears a hat emblazoned with his team name.

When Honored Kid Grayson Lautieri finished treatment in April, he was done with chemo, but he and his family weren’t done fighting against childhood cancer.

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