7th Big Shave to fight childhood cancer

| 23/09/2019
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS Local Life): Over 100 men, women and children shaved their heads last Friday evening to raise funds and demonstrate their solidarity with children fighting cancer, who often lose their hair following chemotherapy treatment. The 7th annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave was a huge success, raising US$285,000 for the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research.

Amongst the freshly shorn were the parents of Cayman’s childhood cancer survivors: Gaylene Meeson, whose 12-year-old daughter Hannah was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in 2012; Trent Grant, father to leukemia survivor Tayden, age 12; Woody Foster, father to 11-year-old leukemia survivor, Charli; Tommy Ebanks whose daughter Mimi was diagnosed with ependymoma at 6 months; Walter and Donna Capasso, whose daughter Allie is a survivor of Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma: and Tom Sperandeo whose 8-year-old son, Saylor, is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia. 

Also present were cancer survivors Beau Shields (9), Ava Paige Rico (9) and Annabelle Reading (8).

Welcoming the huge crowd that packed The Wicket Bar in Cricket Square for the occasion. Governor Martyn Roper praised the Cayman community’s continued support of fundraising for research, as he officially opened the event. He was joined on stage by Woody Foster, who led the audience in a prayer celebrating childhood, and Kelly Forebaugh, Director of Hero Funds from the St Baldrick’s Foundation in California, whose travel to the event was sponsored by local firm, Conyers.

Before helping to shave Woody Foster’s head, the governor addressed the gathered crowd: “It’s a privilege to be amongst so many brave individuals and families who are such an inspiration to all of us here. We have heard so much about The Big Shave and we hope our presence here will show our very strong support for this wonderful event and encourage others to support much-needed research.”

Now in its seventh year, Hannah’s Heroes is one of the most successful shave events in the world for St Baldrick’s, raising over US$2.3 million for childhood cancer research. Since 2005, St Baldrick’s has donated more than $278 million in funding for research grants to more than 358 institutions in 28 countries.

Top fundraising teams included Maples and Balder ($42,733), Dart ($26,871), Ogier Fund-Razors ($18,927), Cayman Prep & High School ($16,005), KPMG ($13,167) and Fosters ($11,624).

Fifteen children shaved on Friday, including students from Cayman International School and their teacher, John Lane, who collectively raised over $24,000.  

The crowd was energized by the return appearance of the Firebalds team, comprising 13 officers from the Cayman Islands Fire Service, who were moved by the story of 73-year-old shavee Joan Austin, who, following her recent breast cancer diagnosis, made the courageous decision to join the event to raise funds for childhood cancer research. Austin has raised over $6,700.

This year’s Big Shave raised at least US$285,000, bringing the fundraising total over the seven Big Shaves to US$2,358,159. Organisers say that funds are still coming in, with several more fundraising events planned over the next few days, including a coin drive at Cayman Prep primary school and donations at the register in Foster’s supermarkets throughout September.

Donations can still be made by visiting the Hannah’s Heroes webpage


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Category: Community, Fundraiser, Local News

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