Hannah’s Heroes set for big shave

| 22/09/2016
CNS Local LIfe

Cayman’s childhood cancer survivors: (L-R, back row) Charli Foster and Tayden Grant; (L-R), front row) Beau Shields, Annabelle Reading, Hannah Meeson and Mimi Ebanks.

(CNS Local Life): More than 1,000 people are expected to gather at the Wicket in Cricket Square on Friday, 23 September for the fourth annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave for the St Baldrick’s Foundation to raise funds for childhood cancer research. Cayman residents Gaylene and Nigel Meeson conceived of the event to raise awareness about childhood cancer after their daughter Hannah was diagnosed in 2012 with anaplastic medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer.

“Hannah has a 95% chance of relapse, and in the probable event of that relapse there are no known successful medical trials for us to follow,“ said Gaylene Meeson.

“All childhood cancers combined receive only 4% of US federal funding for cancer research so without vital research funded by organisations like St Baldrick’s, Hannah and children like her will not survive.”

Other childhood cancer survivors in Cayman are involved in helping raise funds and awareness, including Skylar “Mimi” Ebanks, Annabelle Reading, Beau Shields, Tayden Grant, and Charli Foster. As there is no treatment available for childhood cancer in the Cayman Islands it is necessary for them all to travel frequently to the US for treatments and checkups.

Hannah’s Heroes is a hero fund of the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research in the US. Since inception the foundation has awarded US$200 million in research grants with three named in Hannah’s honour, testament to the US$1 million raised during head-shaving events held in Cayman since 2013.

“Local support has been overwhelming again this year,” Hannah’s mother said. “Over 100 supporters will shave on Friday, including The Firebalds, a Fire Service team; MLA Winston Connolly; 7-year-old Olly Thorpe; the Bald Angels, our first all-female shave team; and a host of big-hearted individuals and corporate teams and the parents of local cancer survivors. We are humbled to see the Cayman community united again in the fight against childhood cancer.”

To date, more than $75,000 has raised by shavees ahead of this year’s event with pregnant local mum and AL Thompson’s human resources manager, Caron Murphy, leading fundraising efforts with more than $12,000 donated by friends and family ahead of her shaving.

The Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave for St Baldrick’s will take place from 5pm-9pm and will feature a silent auction, balloon prize raffle, and food and drinks specials from The Brasserie.

For more information, go to the St Baldrick’s website or email Hannah’s Heroes

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