St. Baldrick’s: fighting to end childhood cancer

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Julian Gonzalez

The annual St. Baldrick's fundraiser will take on March 17.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation was established in 2005 by Tim Kenny, Josh Bender and Enda McDonnel to raise money for research into cures for childhood cancer.

Every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Not only is that a terrible statistic, but only 4% of U.S. federal funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick’s raises money by having volunteers participate in a head-shaving event.

Mount Carmel got involved with St. Baldrick’s in 2007 after several students and faculty had been diagnosed with cancer.

This year the event will be held on March 17, which is St. Patrick’s Day. As of right now there are 14 students participating, while in past years between 50-90 students have volunteered. Last year, $20,000 was raised, while the most Carmel ever raised was $120,000.

Mr. John Stimler, Mount Carmel’s Director of Mission and Ministry, is coordinating the event. In addition to his coordination, Stimler himself has participated for 12 straight years. He finds it very saddening that only 4% of government funding into cancer research is directed toward children’s cancers, and thinks more people should join with him in raising awareness and funds.

Stimler’s commitment arises from personal experience.

“I do it because, unfortunately, I have been to the funerals of many students whom I have taught, and it is devastating to see their friends have to watch them be buried.”

Another individual who has been involved for 12 years is Jon Weber, who began shaving his head for St. Baldrick’s events in early grammar school. Now a senior, Weber has helped raise a lot of the money these past three years at Mount Carmel.

“I do St. Baldrick’s every year because fighting pediatric cancer is a fantastic cause to get behind.  It is astounding how common and deadly pediatric cancer is, and how little money is allotted to research on treatments by the federal government.

Weber hopes the funds that are raised at Mount Carmel will help advance the search for a cure.

(We need to) develop new, less damaging, and more effective treatments, pay to educate more pediatric oncologists, and promote research on the lifelong effects of cancer and its treatment.”

If anyone has questions or would like more information, contact [email protected], or to sign up go to https://www.stbaldricks.org/events/MCHS20.