Cayman shows up to support Hannah’s Heroes

| 25/09/2017 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

Hannah’s Heroes founder Gaylene Meeson with child shaves (Photo by Deep Blue Images)

(CNS Local Life): More than 1,000 people packed The Wicket in Cricket Square on Friday evening for the fifth annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave to raise funds for the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research. All together, 107 men, women and children shaved their heads to raise funds and demonstrate their solidarity with children fighting cancer who often lose their hair following chemotherapy treatment.

At the time of press, this year’s Big Shave raised US$267,000 with funds still pouring in and several more fundraising events planned over the next 10 days, including a coin drive at Cayman Prep primary school, which will run until 6 October.

Amongst the freshly shorn on the night were parents of Cayman’s childhood cancer survivors, including Gaylene Meeson, whose daughter Hannah was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in 2012; Trent Grant, parent of leukemia survivor Tayden, age 10; Woody Foster, whose 10-year-old daughter, Charli, was diagnosed age 2; and Richard Reading, father of 6-year-old Annabelle, also a leukemia survivor. Also present was 7-year-old Beau Shields, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, age 5 months.

Gaylene Meeson welcomed the crowd, praising the Cayman community’s continued support of fundraising for research and was joined on stage by Woody Foster, who led the audience in a prayer celebrating childhood.

St Baldrick’s CEO Kathleen Ruddy travelled from California to attend the event and recognise supporters in Cayman. “I am profoundly moved by the way the Cayman community has united to support Hannah’s Heroes and take childhood back from cancer,” she said. “I am honoured to be able to attend the event this year and meet the dedicated volunteers and donors who have united to help children survive cancer.”

CNS Local Life

(L-R) Andreas Marcher with top individual fundraiser, Natasha Casebolt (Photo by Deep Blue Images)

Now in its fifth year, Hannah’s Heroes is one of the most successful shave events in the world for St Baldrick’s, having raised more than US$1.5 million for childhood cancer research. Since 2005, St Baldrick’s has donated more than $230 million in the form of 1,052 grants to more than 358 institutions in 28 countries.

Top fundraising teams included Maples and Balder ($31,161), Savage Cuts ($26,269), KPMG ($20,826), Shear Triangle ($19,091) and DART ($16,360). In addition, 12 children braved the shave at the event including 9-year-old Savannah Primary student, Kylie Freeland, who shaved alongside her grandfather Herbert Crawford and told the gathered crowd that she wanted to help kids less fortunate than her. Natasha Casebolt was the top performing individual, raising $10,512. Casebolt was one of more than 20 shavees who donated hair to UK charity The Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment.

Amongst the honoured returning shavees were St Baldrick’s Squires of Hope, Eugene Nolan, Matthew Bishop, Joshua Pawlik and the Cayman Islands Fire Service “Firebalds” Team as well as 10-year-old Nathan Suitor and 12-year-old Matteo Carbini.

Donations can be made online at the Hannah’s Heroes page on the St Baldrick’s website

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Category: Community, Donations

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