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Monday, May 5, 2014

Local man encourages people to go bald for children's cancer fundraising event - By Michelle Libby

Dan Jackson hasn’t had any direct personal experiences with childhood cancer, but he felt the need to be involved in doing something for others and felt called by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 
Once a year people volunteer to have their head shaved, called a shavee, or donate to someone who has volunteered or donate outright to support the foundation that looks to close the funding gap for the treatment of childhood “kid” cancers. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $127 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants.

Jackson said that through his work as a special education teacher at RSU14, he has had two of his students pass away from cancer. 

There are four St. Baldrick’s events scheduled around Maine. One of them in May is in Orono, Jackson said. 

University of Maine sophomore Andrew Tyler is a shavee for the first time this year. “Being that it is Maine Day at UMaine which it is a day of volunteering and giving back, I am shaving my head to stand in solidarity with all those with cancer and raising money for childhood cancer research,” he said.

At the southern Maine event on June 1, at Jimmy the Greeks in South Portland, there will be professional licensed hair stylists standing by to do the shaving. Melissa Carlberg from Escape Hair in Windham is one of the shavers. 

“We’ve invited over 1,000 people and 20 have confirmed they will be there,” said Jackson. Six people have agreed to have their heads shaved. 

“It’s a great case of something unique and different,” he said. There will also be raffles for those in attendance. It’s not only shavees who will be at Jimmy the Greeks on June first, but others who want to donate, support, or to observe the fun. 

We are looking for individuals and teams to get excited about shaving their heads and helping to Conquer Kids' Cancer! Getting started couldn't be easier. Register as an individual or start a team with your co-workers, family, friends or neighbors. Got a competitive side? Fundraise against your boss, in-laws or softball rivals to see who can raise the most money in donations. Prizes will be awarded to top fundraising individuals and teams at the event.

Jackson said his tentative goal is to raise $10,000 with $1,000 of that coming from him personally, but he said he’d be happy with whatever the event can raise. “People are very supportive,” he said.
To donate to the event or a specific shavee, visit www.stbaldricks.org and find the community tab and then click event, type in Maine and find Jimmy the Greeks 2014.

Participants will receive a t-shirt and the satisfaction of knowing they made a difference.
Worldwide a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes, and one in five children diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive. With only 4 percent of all federal cancer research funding dedicated to pediatric cancer research, St. Baldrick’s Foundation volunteers, supporters and donors are needed to continue the battle against this devastating disease.

Volunteers are needed and can contact Jackson at jacksoda70@gmail.com. The event also has a Facebook page under Greater Portland St. Baldrick’s.

Facts about childhood cancers from St. Baldrick’s website 

-         Childhood cancers are not related to lifestyle factors, and little can be done to prevent them.
-         Some cancers almost never strike after the age of 5; others occur most often in teenagers.
-         Even when kids get cancers that adults get—like lymphoma—they must be treated differently. Children are not simply smaller adults!
-         Many adult cancers can be diagnosed early. In 80 percent of kids, cancer has already spread to other areas of the body by the time it is diagnosed.
-         There are over a dozen types of childhood cancers, and countless subtypes, making it more challenging for researchers to find cures for every kid.

1 comment:

  1. In Response to your article on The town of Raymond revitalization. No amount of cosmetic changes to building will help if you cant persuade the local people to shop local. i owned a large business in Raymond and the number one reason why its not there anymore is because raymond people dont shop local. But they will tell you all day long that they do. But the bottom line is the people of Raymond dont support their local business. Trying to change the local mindset would be a big help.


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