Story and photos by Theresa Rose, North Forty News
On Saturday, March 24, a gathering of St. Baldericks’ supporters met at the Downtown Artery to get their heads shaved in a fundraiser to combat childhood cancer. St. Balderick’s was founded in 1991, the name created in solidarity with children receiving cancer treatments who often lose their hair.
Kindra Weisbrod has participated in the event for the last eight years, beginning in 2010 when she served as a resident assistant in her college dorm. She heard of an event being held at the Fado Irish Pub in Denver and signed up as a team captain, assuming no one would want to go with her. As it was, two people, a staff member and a fellow student attended the event and had their heads shaved also.
This is her first year as event organizer and her fifth time getting her head shaved. Usually, her teams raise about $300 for a single event, but as of March 24, 2018, they’ve raised almost $8000 total. This is $3000 beyond their original goal of $5000.
Becoming an organizer is easy, Kindra says. All you have to do is go to the website: StBaldricks.org, and they guide you through the process.
Kindra doesn’t have any family connection to childhood cancer but she does have friends and acquaintances who have either had family members with cancer or cancer themselves.
Delia, a retired teacher from Now York City has had more than her share of exposure to childhood cancer. A frequent attendee of the St.Balderick events, she has a friend whose son died of Leukemia at the age of sixteen. Another long term student is currently battling Leukemia. “Children cannot receive the same treatments as adults,” she says. She goes on to cite a few of the facts reported on the St. Balderick website, that worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every 2 minutes but only 4% of the funds for cancer research goes to child cancer research.
“Kids don’t vote,” she sighs.
The event was begun in the U.S. but has expanded internationally. St. Balderick’s day was inspired by St. Patrick’s Day and the images of shamrocks and the color green are prevalent at the events. Though the main events take place in March, anyone may make a donation at any time.
There is hope as long as the Kindras of the world feel compelled to support movements such as St. Baldericks. As the organization grows and awareness is raised, we may not see a young person with a shaved head as a “Skinhead” any more.