His Excellency the Governor, Mr Martyn Roper, will officially launch proceedings at this Friday’s Seventh Annual Big Shave for the St Baldrick’s Foundation, at the Wicket in Cricket Square where over 1,000 people are expected to gather to raise funds for childhood cancer research.
The event began in 2012 in honor of Hannah, the daughter of Cayman residents Gaylene and Nigel Meeson, who faced a difficult fight against brain cancer. Hannah turns 12 today, September 18th, remarkably with “No Evidence of Disease”.
“We never thought we would celebrate Hannah’s 12th birthday, and she has amazingly defied the odds that left her with a less than 5 percent chance of survival, but she suffers many disabilities following treatment, including impaired balance, partial deafness, vision loss, cognitive, memory and fine motor deficits and slow processing,” Mrs. Meeson said.
“Hannah is not alone. By the time childhood cancer survivors are 45 years old, more than 95 percent of them will have a chronic health problem or life-threatening condition. Without organizations like St. Baldrick’s, Hannah and children like her will simply not survive.”
Other childhood cancer survivors from Cayman will join the event, including Skylar “Mimi” Ebanks, Saylor Sperandeo, Annabelle Reading, Ava Paige Rico, Beau Shields, Allie Capasso, Charli Foster and Tayden Grant.
More than $125,000 has already been raised toward this year’s $250,000 goal.
Since its inception, Hannah’s Heroes has raised more than $2.1 million for childhood cancer research at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The St Baldrick’s Foundation has dedicated more than $279 million to childhood cancer research since its first event in 2000.
Through sponsorship by Conyers Dill & Pearman, St. Baldrick’s Foundation Hero Fund Manager, Kelly Forebaugh will travel from Seattle to Cayman for the fundraiser.
“I am profoundly moved by the way the Cayman community has united to support Hannah’s Heroes and take childhood back from cancer,” Ms. Forebaugh said. “Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave is one of St. Baldrick’s largest events, and I am honored to be able to attend the event again this year and meet the dedicated volunteers and donors who have generated such resources to help children survive cancer.”
St. Baldrick’s has named nine research grants in recognition of Hannah’s Heroes since 2013.
Over 100 men, women and children will take to the Big Shave stage to shave their heads on Friday evening. Teams for this year’s Big Shave include “The Firebalds” from the Fire Service, corporate team “Maples & Balder,” Dart, PwC, KPMG, the parents of local childhood cancer survivors and many local schoolchildren including students from Cayman International School, Cayman Prep & High School, and Bodden Town Primary School.
The event will also feature a silent auction, balloon prize raffle, photo booth hosted by Party Booth Cayman and food and drinks specials from the Brasserie Restaurant.
Organisers recognize that shaving isn’t for everyone, but are encouraging the public to get involved throughout Childhood Cancer Awareness month by hosting bake sales, dress down days at work or school, sponsoring a colleague or friend shaving at The Big Shave and by attending the event this Friday. www.stbaldricks.org/events/hannahsheroes or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved or for more information.