Sharing a bald moment with Dave Fafara, aka ‘Shenandoah Joe’, at the 2012 Toylift.
My father was bald by the time he was 40 years old. I achieved that much later in my life, but not from heredity, by choice. In 2012 I took part in an event for St. Baldrick’s, a fundraiser to support childhood cancer research in which participants raise money and have their heads shaved. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation does one thing, fund research into a cure for childhood cancer. The foundation’s mission is to find cures for childhood cancers and to give survivors long and healthy lives. They are the largest private (non-government) funder of childhood cancer research grants. By funding cooperative research through the Children’s Oncology Group, they give kids nationwide access to the very latest in research and clinical trials. Thanks to a grant review system that impresses the experts, they fund only the very best childhood cancer research.
Shortly after I began my personal fundraising for my head shaving at the Charlottesville St. Baldrick’s event, a 3WV listener, Emmett Simmons, took an interest in my efforts and started raising money on my behalf among his friends and co-workers. Once Emmett got on the job for me, I would receive updates several times a week about the people who gave money and I would see their donations pop up on my St. Baldrick’s fundraising page. With Emmett’s help and the people who donated to him for me, I came in as one of the top ten fundraisers, bringing in nearly $2,000. Most of the participants in the event were sorority and fraternity members at UVA, and I was the only guy in the top ten in money raised.
After getting my head shaved, I embraced my baldness and have been shaving since. This year, Emmett has formed a team along with Michael Cook, Jeff Shuster and Melissa Amick to take up the torch and participate in the St. Baldrick’s event March 21 at The Biltmore on Elliwood Avenue.
I would like to encourage you to first watch this video about St. Baldrick’s and its work: Why We Exist
Then I would ask that you go to my friend Emmett’s St. Baldrick’s team page and make a donation to fight childhood cancer: Team FSFB