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Conquer Kid’s Cancer with a St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser

Andrew Knapp

A Very Special Note: Remember that every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. This reporter faced childhood cancer with my son, Andrew.  He was 15 and passed away at age 18 ½ from a rare form of cancer that strikes mostly boys between the ages of 10 and 20. Life was never the same for our family. Join me in helping to continue the research so maybe one day there are cures for every child with cancer. No child or family should have to go through the devastating heartache of childhood cancer. Andrew Knapp will be one of the honor children at the event. On June 28, 2017, he would have been 26. Please read on….

Andrew Knapp – A rare cancer in his pelvic bone required removing his whole left leg. Survival rate is only about 5-10%. He did not survive. He was only 18. Photo by Janet Juroch (mother of Andrew)

Garden Valley – The first annual St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser will be happening  on July 29 in Crouch at Weilmunster Park. Now what is St. Baldrick’s you ask?  This is an event that started in 2005 where people shaved their heads to show solidarity with children fighting cancer. The Foundation’s sole purpose is to raise money for childhood cancer research. The original event was on St. Patrick’s Day which is on March 17.  The goal was to raise “$17,000 on March 17.” Now events around the world have raised over 200 million dollars and provided 1,000 grants for lifesaving research.

Children and their families are faced with an uncertain future when cancer strikes. Childhood cancer is the #1 disease affecting 1 in 285 children before the age of 20. That means there are over 300,000 children stricken with potentially deadly forms of cancer. The research is needed to continue finding cures for childhood cancer.  Many cancers affect only children or are in forms very different from adult cancers.

Specialized research is needed. Immunotherapy is making headway and a trial was conducted that has shown good results on children. Common forms of cancer in children are now at a 90% cure rate but more promising research is needed for other lesser known cancers.  This statistical information is found in a letter and on the website from St. Baldrick’s Foundation Chairman of the Board, Michael McCreesh and Chief Executive Officer, Kathleen M. Ruddy. Investment in research of this magnitude would not be possible without such events.

This event has grown across the country and now happens all times of the year. The organization has raised more money for funding childhood cancer research grants than any other organization with the exception of the U.S. government. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has a website to explain so much about the organization, how to gain sponsors and even build your own sponsor page. Many resources are at your fingertips. The fun part is getting sponsors to challenge (maybe it is a dare) you to shave your head. Being a part of this event can be rewarding whether shaving or not. People can simply donate any time before the event.

There are already challenges floating around Garden Valley for “shavees”. One person is already bald and want to shave his eyebrows instead. Shavees are a big part of the event but there are also needs for certified barbers and volunteers for clean-up. Other organizers are needed for the silent auction or food sales.  Groups may have games and food booths if they have proceeds go as a donation to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

This is an event that is sponsored by the Greater Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Cindy Petit is the local Volunteer Event Organizer and the primary responsibility is hers. St. Baldrick’s Foundation has tons of promotional materials on their website stbaldricks.org. Contact Cindy at 970-376-0027 or email her at Cindyp2922@gmail.com or stop in at Cranberryhill Studios on Tuesday through Saturday with inquiries. Let’s have fun and shave a head for childhood cancer research or give generously so that we can show Garden Valley cares!

 

Written by Janet Juroch – BCC Staff