Participant 991556

Sara Vera Before
Sara Vera After

Sara Vera

shaved to cure childhood cancers!

May 5, 2019 • 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Event: Shave for the Brave at Remington's Gastropub

At: Remington's Gastropub

102 South Third St, Malta, IL US

Conquer Childhood Cancers

Fundraising

$6,150Raised

$10,000 Goal

$10,000 Goal

(888) 899-2253

Download Donation Form

Participant 991556

Participant 991556

Every 2 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Help me fund the research that will save their lives!

Fundraising

$6,150Raised

$10,000 Goal

$10,000 Goal

(888) 899-2253

Download Donation Form

Participant 991556

National Partner

I shaved to raise money for childhood cancer research with: I'm On Mattis's Team

May 5, 2019 • 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Event: Shave for the Brave at Remington's Gastropub

At: Remington's Gastropub

102 South Third St, Malta, IL US

I shaved to raise money for childhood cancer research with: I'm On Mattis's Team


This fundraiser couldn’t be nearer or dearer to my heart. One of those “every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer” belongs to my son, Mattis. Here is his story:

My 3 year old son, Mattis, started acting out of the ordinary on Friday, February 16, 2018. He stopped sleeping well and started complaining of back pain. I thought the sleep issue may be an age-related sleep regression, but the back pain really bothered me. I brought him to the doctor for a checkup after the weekend, and he appeared to be fine. His symptoms quickly worsened, and on Thursday, February 22, my husband and I brought him to the Pediatric ER at a nearby hospital. Mattis gave urine and blood samples and had an X-ray of his spine to rule out a spinal injury. After some time, a nurse told us that Mattis’s urine was clear and his X-ray looked normal. The nurse also told us that one of the doctors looked at the blood sample and believed it was cancer of the blood. Leukemia.

I was in complete and utter shock. I kept repeating the word "no." This was NOT happening to my son, not to my Mattis. This is MATTIS. Anybody who has ever met him knows that Mattis is just NOT the kid who gets cancer. He is healthy, happy, wild, goofy, so incredibly full of life and personality. He just doesn't have time for all of that. Mattis has better things to do. (What kid doesn't?!) I will never forget that initial pre-diagnosis meeting in the ER. In a matter of seconds, our world was just completely shaken up to bits and upended all over the floor.

A doctor immediately admitted Mattis to the pediatric floor to await an official leukemia diagnosis the following day. On Friday, February 23, Mattis received his official diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Throughout the course of the day, Mattis progressively lost his ability to walk, stand, sit, and even move his legs. This baffled Mattis's doctors. This is not how kids respond to a leukemia diagnosis.

Three days later, one of Mattis's doctors took and tested a sample of his spinal fluid. It showed that he had a concentration of protein in his spinal fluid. Mattis’s oncologists ordered an MRI of his spine and brain. On the following day, we learned about the 5 centimeter tumor growing along the outside of his spinal column in the upper middle of his back. The tumor pressed into Mattis’s spinal cord, blocking the flow of spinal fluid and causing paraplegia.

Normally, upon a leukemia diagnosis, kids are admitted to the hospital for the initial diagnosis, port placement surgery, and first doses of chemotherapy. This lasts about four days. They walk in, and they walk out. They don't have tumors, they don't lose nearly all sense of mobility, they aren't hospitalized for weeks and weeks on end, they aren't ambulanced to bigger hospitals for more advanced care, and they don't lose so much weight that they become emaciated looking. But Mattis did.

In no way, shape, or form, am I saying that ANY kid with leukemia has it easy! I just could not (and still cannot) understand why it has been so especially hard for Mattis.

Since that February day, Mattis’s sisters, dad, and I have been standing by his side, fighting his fight with him, and rejoicing in seeing him learn to walk again. Together, we are traveling the long road to recovery.

Now you know why I'm shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research! Did you know that kids' cancers are different from adult cancers? It's true. And childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded. So I decided to do something about it by raising money for cures.
I need your help! Will you make a donation? Every dollar makes a difference for the thousands of infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting childhood cancers.

My Roles:

  • Shavee
  • Shavee Recruiter
  • Team Captain
  • Organizer

Your Roles

Barber Details

St. Baldrick’s Honored Kids

Kids with cancer are our reason for it all. They’re the inspiration behind our event and the reason we’re helping fund childhood cancer research. We believe all kids should be able to grow up and turn their dreams into realities. Join our event or make a donation, and click the photos below to read their incredible stories.

Recent Donors

View All
  1. David and Deborah Bird 5/22/2019
  2. Marsha Royalty In Honor Of Mattis Vera 5/19/2019
  3. Alexia Marshall 5/16/2019
  4. Tait Hillmer 5/15/2019
  5. Tony 5/8/2019

Change your photo

Photo submission policy

Please read the photo submission policy and accept below.

By submitting a photograph of yourself on www.StBaldricks.org, you agree to the following terms and conditions for submission of your photograph:

We strongly encourage all users to submit a before and after photo, so that donors and fellow participants can easily recognize and relate to one another.

Any photo containing cartoons, comics, celebrities, nudity, pornography, sexually explicit images or any copyrighted image (unless you own the copyright) is not permitted. This is because photos of celebrities and cartoon or comic images are generally copyrighted by the owner.

Uploading images of other people without their permission is also prohibited.

This photo submission policy applies to StBaldricks.org users. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation reserves the right to review all photos and to remove any photo for any reason at our sole discretion. If you see a photo on StBaldricks.org that you believe does not conform to this policy, email to WebQuestions@StBaldricks.org