To fund life-saving research, 37 volunteers shaved their heads and raised $35,753 at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation 10th annual Honolulu fundraising event, which was held virtually on September 27. The money raised will help fund pediatric cancer research at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center, UH Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children and Tripler Army Medical Center.
Donations are still coming in online as participants post photos of their shaved heads. Over the past 10 years, the annual event has raised more than $800,000. In previous years, the event has raised an average of $80,000 in donations. Normally the event is held in person, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was transitioned to a virtual delivery.
“It was an intimate and inspiring event, with everyone shaving their heads because we all want to help children who are battling cancer,” event co-organizer Wendy Cockshell, who works at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at UH. “We all have been touched by childhood cancer and our shavees include oncologists, doctors, nurses, childhood cancer researchers, families who have children with cancer, families who have lost children with cancer, their brothers and sisters, and even kids who have had cancer themselves.”
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer- and donor-powered charity that is committed to funding research to find the most promising cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. The foundation is the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, second only to the U.S. government.
“Participants became voices for children with cancer and raised awareness with every conversation about their bald head,” said Cockshell. “It gave them an insight into what it is like to be a child, bald in the world, and allowed them to feel the support of family and friends as they did something awesome and raised a lot of money for a cause that is immensely underfunded.”
Cockshell added, “I have heard people say that shaving their head to fund research to help our cancer kids, has been one of the most incredible experiences of their lives…and it has changed them. It is an experience that you will never regret, and we need you. Our cancer kids really need your help.”