FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Several people cut their hair or went completely bald to show their support for children with childhood cancer and their families at Lutheran Children’s Hospital.
Are you bold enough to cut off 12 inches of your hair, or even shave it completely bald for a good cause? Turns out several people, like medical student Amy Truong, are—all to support the end of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Lutheran Children's Hospital and Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology hosted a head-shaving event Sunday afternoon to raise money for St. Baldrick's Foundation as well as taking donations for Locks of Love. St. Baldrick’s Foundation is an even normally held on St. Patrick’s Day, and is a play on words “bald” and “St. Patrick’s”. St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.
“I thought it was something that I needed to do to understand the struggles that my patients are going to be going through,” said Truong.
She means patients like 7-year-old Ebony Fawcett who's been battling chronic Neuroblastoma, cancer of the nervous system, since she was two years old. Ebony says she’s not getting her hair cut, because it just grew back after going through chemo therapy around 19 months ago. Instead, she and her mother attended the event to see some of her nurses get their hair cut for Locks of Love.
“They’re sweet and they’re special. They help other kids get better,” said Ebony.
Ebony’s mother, Beth Ann, says Ebony relapsed when she was four and half years old, and since her condition is chronic she knows they will have to deal with it again.
“We know how to deal with it now and Lutheran has been with her both times so our family is here. The hospital has become our family,” she said. “We are not promised tomorrow. We are going to live everyday we’re here. Our faith is strong and our faith has gotten us through everyday of it.”
That's why an event like the one on Sunday is so important.
“Childhood cancer, fortunately, is pretty rare. Only about 13,000 kids per year are diagnosed,” said Dr. Dennis O’Brien, Pediatric Oncologist for Lutheran Hospital. “Because of that, not necessarily all the government dollars go to childhood cancers as they would for breast cancer, prostate cancer or colon cancer.”
Which is why Truong raised close to $4,100 for childhood cancer research all on her own. As Truong fought back tears with a giant smile on her face while getting her head shaved, Beth Ann gave this one little reminder, “It’s just hair, it will grow back. Your smile’s still there, and your hair will grow back,” she said.
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