ROC the Bald/Shave for the Brave will benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation and support pediatric cancer research at 1 p.m. April 15 at Finn’s Tap Room and Party House, 14 Railroad St., Victor.
“Over the years as a nurse caring for children with cancer, I was often asked why I did it and wasn’t it depressing,” said Lynne Stiefler, registered nurse. “At times it was extremely sad to see a child lose their life or endure the treatments of cancer; however, these children and their families have touched my heart and spirit over the years.”
This love for the smallest patients led Stiefler to become involved in many regional and national pediatric cancer organizations, from Camp Good Days and Special Times to Cure Childhood Cancer Association. She said she especially enjoys the organization where she can dye her hair blue and have it shaved off.
Stiefler annually coordinates and hosts the local head-shaving fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s, a national pediatric organization where shaving heads raises money for pediatric cancer research.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s national website describes its mission as “We don’t make wigs or collect hair to soak up oil spills; in fact, shaving itself is just a means to an end. On the surface, we shave because kids with cancer often lose their hair during treatment and we stand proudly bald beside them. But the true goal, to cure childhood, while shaving we raise funds for lifesaving childhood cancer research.”
“I’m determined to make a difference for these children in the treatments they must face,” Stiefler said. “One of the ways that we can make a difference together is with supporting these events which raise money for childhood cancer research.”
The event’s goal is to raise $45,000 to contribute to research in fighting a disease which will strike 1 in 285 children worldwide; 1 in 8 of these diagnoses will result in the death of patients whose average age is 6 years old. Of those who survive, 95 percent will have chronic health issues as adults, with 80 percent being severe or life-threatening.
Pediatric cancer is the least funded and most difficult to treat as to the size and development challenges of the patients. Attendees and supporters of this event annually meet and hear the stories of children and their families that this event and donations have directly helped.
These events are staffed by volunteers, from the hair stylists who shave the heads to those who donate venues and services, not to mention people behind the scenes who distribute posters, answer emails or staff the event.
This year’s event will feature clowns, face painting, princesses and superheroes. Rochester’s sports teams will be represented with mascots from the Rochester Americans, Razorsharks and Roberts Wesleyan College as they cheer on those being shaved. Adults will enjoy a basket raffle and silent auction.
Visit bit.ly/2tN2M3V for information.