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Shaving heads, saving lives

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By Brent Schanding

At least 11 people will shave their heads here Saturday to raise money for childhood cancer.  It’s part of a national effort, known as St. Baldrick’s Day, to bring awareness to the cause.  

“This is something that really hits close to home for me,” said Aimee Barr, event organizer for the Spencer County project.

Barr’s son, Dawson, was diagnosed some time ago with Optic Glioma, a rare brain tumor that commonly develops on the optic nerve. After further examination, doctors discovered several tumors on his brain and one on his spine.

“It’s a battle we’ve been doing for three years,” Barr said.

Dawson will complete his final chemotherapy treatment this Friday –– one day before his cousin, father and several others shave their heads to raise money for other children afflicted by cancer.

You can watch the “hair-razing” event Saturday, April 18 at 3 p.m. at the Tropical Oasis Salon in Elk Creek.   A silent auction is also planned that day. Items include Rick Pitino and Billy Gillispie basketballs, Louisville River Bats tickets, gift certificates to the Tea Cup, El Nopal Mexican Restaurant and assorted gift baskets. 

Winners of the silent auction will be announced 4 p.m. at the salon. Proceeds will benefit childhood Cancer research. Checks should be made payable to St. Baldrick’s.

Barr hopes to raise at least $3,000 with the event. 

“People don’t understand the severity of childhood cancer,” Barr said. “I guess if people don’t have to deal with it you don’t think about it.”

National organizers claim St. Baldrick’s is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Thousands of volunteers shave their heads in solidarity of children with cancer in exchange for donations.  Grant funds have been distributed to over 230 institutions for laboratory research, according to information on the organization’s Web site.

For more information about the event contact Barr at 477-5371 or dsbarr@att.net.