Cuts for a cause: people shave heads for pediatric cancer research

Virginia

Four percent of federal funding given to childhood cancer research

WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — Family members and friends of children diagnosed with cancer came out to show their support by shaving their heads.

Angie Willis shaves for her daughter Sara, a little girl who lost her battle with the disease.

“She isn’t here today because childhood cancer killed her nine months ago,” said Willis. “Thanksgiving day that sweet girl died because of outdated treatments. That girl died because she begged and begged for a cure and it didn’t happen in time for her.”

According to the St.Baldricks Foundation, only four percent of federal funding goes towards childhood cancer research.

“It’s more than just ahead shave, it’s more than a haircut, it is making a difference. You all are funding research that is going to make a difference,” said Ammy Doeden, event coordinator.

The youngest people to get their heads shaved were siblings of 9-year-old Olivia Bailey who is two years cancer-free but still struggles with the long-term side effects.

“Our middle daughter Olivia was diagnosed on her 5th birthday with Leukemia. It was also our 10th anniversary so she went through chemo treatment for almost 2 1/2 years,” said Sarah Bailey, a mother whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every 2 minutes.

“It is a travesty that we are using medications on children that are older than their parents. Sara Grace, I am sorry that we didn’t find a cure in time for you. I will never stop trying to finish what you started and I will always be your voice,” said Willis.

This year there were 12 participants but organizers say in past years they’ve had an average of 25 to 30 and usually have more women shave their heads than men.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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