Headaches are useful for pediatric cancer research



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BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – A dozen people have hemmed their hair on their cheeks, or on Sunday cut their heads to collect money for childhood cancer research.

Pat Schrager organizes annually Foundation St. Baldrick's an event on 84th Street Pub & Grille in Byron Township, south of Grand Rapids.

"We were busy because our daughter's friend had leukemia at five," Schrager said.

She got her fight and she's 23 now.

"When we moved back to West Michigan, there was no event, so we started one," he said.

The first local event took place in 2013, the National Foundation St. Baldrick's was created more than a decade earlier.

"So the three guys gathered … wanted to raise money and raise awareness of childhood cancer research. They wanted to raise $ 17,000 on St. Patrick's Day 2000," explained Shrager.

They came up with the concept of a shaving auction. Volunteers agree to give up their hair, and donors pay to sponsor each piece.

Steven Strauss was among the first to take his head for it.

"It's very fun," he said. "Shaving began in bars, as in New York, and then we realized that it had an impact."

Since then, the organization has collected millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research.

Researchers at the Children's Hospital Helen DeVos in Grand Rapids said they were grateful for the money that allowed them to explore new ways of treatment and to get acquainted with patients.

"In 1978, childhood cancer was a death sentence," said Schrager. "Today, four out of five are saved and we hope that it will improve."

Turn heads and people talk.

"It's a great market advantage of this stuff. People are like," What happened? "Talk about it and then start thinking about it," said Strauss.

Last year's local event was in St. Baldrick reached nearly $ 115,000. The organizers hoped to defeat $ 120,000 this year.

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