On April 8th in Mystic Connecticut there was a special event.
Over one hundred women, men, and children gathered in the Mystic ballroom to have their heads shaved!
But why would so many people come together and volunteer to get their heads shaved?
The 2018 St Baldrick’s Shave for the Brave allowed willing volunteers the opportunity to shave their head to raise money for research for childhood cancer.
Across the globe in 2018, over 300,000 children will find out they have a form of cancer. Twenty percent of these children will die. Even more concerning is that very little cancer research is allocated to childhood cancer. Only about 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s funds goes towards pediatric cancer, with the majority going towards adult cancer.
This event, St Baldrick’s Shave for the Brave, first started in 1999 when three friends decided to go bald in exchange for donations to children with cancer. This first event resulted in 19 people shaving their heads for $104,000 and grew into the St Baldrick’s Foundation that it is today. This has become the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants.
The St Baldrick’s event is fairly new to Mystic Connecticut. It was inspired by local VEO Phil Miller and Kristen his wife, whose 11-year-old cousin, Matthew, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, in his knee. This is a very serious bone tumor. In order to treat it, part of his leg was amputated. Fortunately, an emergency protocol saved Matthew’s life although the effects of the rigorous chemotherapy are projected to have serious consequences on his health, especially as he ages. If you’d like to read more about osteosarcoma, you can do so here.
After seeing the harrowing and life threatening effects of childhood cancer, Phil Miller and his wife, Kristen started bringing St Baldrick’s to Mystic three years ago in honor of the thousands of children like their cousin who are diagnosed and battle cancer every year. And for this fourth year they planned on bringing in $60,000 this year alone!