Mums shave their heads to help combat childhood cancer
These brave mums and young cancer survivors shaved their heads to raise awareness for childhood cancer, and to fund pediatric cancer research! Learn more here!
n 2013, Timaree Marston lost her 3-year-old son, Caemon, to a rare form of leukemia. Devastated, the mother knew she had to do everything in her power to help other mothers who were in similar situations. That’s when she decided to join the wildly successful foundation called 46 Mommas.
46 Mommas–which takes its name from the unfortunate fact that everyday, 46 North American mothers are told their children have cancer– hosts various events to raise cancer awareness, and raise money for pediatric cancer research.
This past July, Marston and 23 other mothers gathered for 46 Mommas’ “Lucky 7” event hosted in Las Vegas, USA. In an effort to raise awareness and research funding, these courageous and noble mothers (and several spouses and young cancer survivors) shaved their heads!
Courtney Moore, Lucky 7 event organizer, told TODAY, “Our goal is to give moms this special moment of empowerment and just this release of all of this stress and turmoil that their family is in.”
Moore has helped organize the last five events for 46 Mommas. She has seen how being in the presence of other women who can empathise has a powerful effect on first-time attendees.
Her daughter, Georgia, 16, is a cancer survivor who was first diagnosed when she was 10 and is four years out of treatment.
Among the many to buzz their hair for the cause were Chelsea Gatlin, 29, a mother of four from Loveland, Colorado and her 11-year-old daughter Taylor. The brave 11-year-old was diagnosed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was 8. She has since recovered.
“I knew it would be difficult to see Taylor with a bald head again, but I didn’t understand the memories that would come flooding back,” Gatlin told TODAY. “She was just glowing, and the power it felt like she had taken back was just amazing, but it was also a trigger for sure.”
The women also hope that by shaving their heads, they can trigger interest in others from their hometown. Their hope is to gain attention, so others will seek knowledge about their cause, and what they can do to help.
“We want to have a conversation,” Marston said. “Pediatric cancer does not receive nearly the funding it needs.”
“I’m bald and I want to tell you why, because I think people usually assume you are the one that has cancer, and they don’t imagine it’s for kids who have cancer,” says Chelsea Gatlin.
“This was my first year, but I definitely will go back,” Marston said. “Just to be among these women and then come home with that shaved head as an ambassador for the cause, it’s been incredibly emotional.”
In addition to the spectacularly successful event, the mothers also gathered to celebrate the fact that the charity they are tied to, The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, was closing in on $2 million raised for pediatric cancer research over the last seven years just through the 46 Mommas events alone. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has raised more than $200 million for childhood cancer research overall.
Clearly, their cause is going a long way! Parents, you don;t necessarily have to shave your head to raise awareness, but you should do anything in your power to not only make others aware of childhood cancer, but make yourself aware for the safety of your children!
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