Hannah’s Heroes charity head-shave set for Friday

Young heroes: Tayden Grant and Charli Foster, back row, with Beau Shields, Hannah Meeson, Annabelle Reading and Skylar 'Mimi' Ebanks - six of Cayman's child cancer survivors.

For the fourth consecutive year, hundreds of people are expected to turn out for the annual Hannah’s Heroes charity head-shave at Cricket Square on Friday.

The “Big Shave” event raises money for and awareness about child cancer research. It is named for 8-year-old Hannah Meeson, who was diagnosed in mid-2012 with anaplastic medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. After intensive treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, by May 2014 an MRI showed Hannah’s tumors had disappeared and the disease was stable. However, the treatments led to other health problems for the child.

Her parents, Nigel and Gaylene, joined forces with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money for child cancer research. Since the inception of Hannah’s Heroes, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, they have raised $1,098,426 for pediatric cancer research to try to find a cure for Hannah and other children who have cancer.

The money raised has funded three Hannah’s Heroes St. Baldrick’s Fellowship Grants, which combined will provide a further six years of research into medulloblastoma.

So far for this year’s event, more than 70 people, half of whom are women, have registered to have their heads shaved, said volunteer Nikki Callender. She noted that several corporate teams have also joined, including Dart, KPMG, MUFG, Maples and Calder and PwC.

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One woman who has signed up, Caron Murphy, who is seven-and-a-half months pregnant, has already raised $12,500 to shave off her long hair. She is the largest individual fundraiser so far.

To date, for this year’s event, almost $75,000 has been raised, Ms. Callender said.

The head-shave event will be at the Wicket Bar in Cricket Square from 5-9 p.m. There will be food and drink specials, a silent auction and balloon prize raffle. It is free to attend and donations are welcome. To donate, visit www.stbaldricks.org/events/HannahsHeroes.

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