A cancer diagnosis can sometimes make a patient’s friends feel powerless to help. But for a half-dozen fourth-graders at Driver Middle School, the opposite was true.
“Even though we’re kids, we can do something,” Nolan Hammerschmidt, 10, said.
“If we can get enough money to make a cure, we wouldn’t even have to worry about it anymore,” Kevin Shea, 10, said.
In honor of their friend and DMS classmate, Jack Brumfield, who was diagnosed with leukemia last October, Nolan, Kevin and four others – Nolan Manahan, Justin West, David Snook and Ryan Orr – have volunteered to have their heads buzzed bald March 22 in the old DMS gym, during a St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser for pediatric cancer research. Their team, the Bald Eagles, already exceeded its $3,000 fundraising goal by more than $800, with more than week still to go until the shaving.
As of March 13, 26 people were signed up for the event, one of hundreds scheduled throughout the year around the world – and a first for the Marcellus Central Schools campus. Event organizer and DMS sixth-grade teacher Anita Pawlewicz, an annual St. Baldrick’s shavee since 2006, said she expected the participant list to continue to grow.
To donate, sign up or learn more about the Marcellus event, go to https://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/11674/2015.
St. Baldrick’s participants agree to go bald not only to raise money for life-saving research, but also to stand in solidarity with children who lose their hair from cancer treatment.
“You’re really being powerful and making a huge change for people in our community,” Mrs. Pawlewicz told the boys, four of whom have shaved in previous St. Baldrick’s events.
Since 2005, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has awarded more than $154 million to support research that shows the most promise in finding cures and better treatments for children fighting cancer. This year, the Foundation hopes to surpass its 2014 fundraising record of $38.9 million.
After his leukemia diagnosis in October 2014, Jack Brumfeld's family printed T-shirts and buttons with the message, "Stay Strong * Team Jack." As luck would have it, exactly six shirts were left over – just enough for each member of the "Bald Eagles" team, who will shave their heads in Jack's honor March 22. DMS teacher Teresa Clarke-McNaney (far left) distributed them to the delighted shavees earlier this month.
Shave day is March 22.