Rock the Bald

St. Baldrick's Foundation, the largest private pediatric cancer research funder, is hosting a family-fun head-shaving event this Friday, March 8, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Mountain View High School.

Head-shaving events have been one of the many ways the foundation raises funds and awareness for childhood cancer treatment since 1999.

Recent data tells us that, on average, a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes — yet pediatric cancer research remains largely underfunded. While it's true that more adults are diagnosed with cancer than children, it's children that lose an average of 56 years more of their lives than adults, considering 6-years-old is the average age of diagnosis.

Even children who are treated successfully run the risk of suffering side effects later in life. According to the foundation's website, 95% of survivors will suffer from chronic health issues due to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy administered at the same time their young brains and bodies were developing throughout treatment.

Why shave your head? Chris Dow, the regional event director for this year's Rock the Bald, says that it raises awareness and offers solidarity.

"People will ask you, 'Hey, why are you bald?' and it provides a conversation starter for those who might not know about pediatric cancer," he said. "It also shows the kids who are going through chemo that they have friends and family on their side."

In addition to head shaving, participants can donate ponytails 8 inches or longer. This year's event will also feature food trucks, raffles, face painting, chair massages and eegees to provide fun and fundraising opportunities all ages will enjoy.

Mountain View High School is located at 3901 W. Linda Vista Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85742. The event runs from 5-9 p.m. Contact Chris Dow at ccdow@msn.com or call 520-256-9595 for more information.

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