Med students 'brave the shave' for cancer research
COLUMBIA — Students at the University of Missouri School of Medicine are raising money for childhood cancer research — by going bald.
On Saturday, Mizzou Med partnered with St. Baldrick’s Foundation to field donations for research grants. Students organized and participated in the event alongside community members.
This is the seventh year Mizzou Med has hosted a St. Baldrick’s event. As of the most recent count, the group raised nearly $47,000. Organizers say this is the most successful year yet. They are hopeful they can reach their goal of $50,000.
Thirty-seven people registered to get their heads shaved on the lawn of Logboat Brewing Company.
The biggest fundraisers went under the clippers first. The top fundraiser was Kevin Clary, M.D. The medicine pediatrics attending at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital brought in $7,888.
Clary said it’s important to support all aspects of cancer treatment.
"I know everybody thinks about the people that are in the hospital — the doctors, the nurses, the social workers, everybody else that has to put together a treatment plan for a child — but they have to think about the research that has to go into making something like that happen," Clary said.
NiCole Sadler was also among the top five fundraisers. As an occupational therapist at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital, she has had an up-close look at how childhood cancer can impact families.
Before the haircut, Sadler shared the emotional story of a patient she worked with a few years ago.
"She was a beautiful 9-year-old girl who spent way too long in the hospital," Sadler said. "She spent way too long fighting something that she shouldn’t have to fight."
Sadler said she would like to see children and families not have to endure cancer anymore.
"We, as a community, need to make sure that all of these families and patients are getting the support they need by finding cures. And so that’s what we need to be doing."
The crowd celebrated five young people who are currently battling cancer or have recently. Organizers invited them to be recognized as "Honored Kids" at the event. Every event nationwide honors local patients receiving treatment.
Three businessmen started the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in 2000. St. Baldrick’s has since raised over $200 million for childhood cancer research. The foundation is the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer grants.
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