Volunteers can get their heads shaved during a kids cancer fundraiser in Park City
Registration open for May 1 event
Parkite Joseph Ramos is ready to shave his head and beard for cancer research.
Ramos is the volunteer coordinator for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s Conquer Kids’ Cancer fundraiser that will be held on Saturday, May 1, at the National Ability Center.
The event, which will include a silent auction and games and prizes, will include an hour of head shaving that not only raises money for cancer research, but is done in solidarity with the thousands of kids who are going through childhood cancer treatment, Ramos said.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a national organization that was founded in 1999 to raise funds to help find cures to childhood cancers, Ramos said.
“A big thing the organization looks at is that the physical impact that a medical diagnosis of cancer on a child is one thing, but the psychological impact is another,” he said. “When kids have to unfortunately lose their hair during chemotherapy treatment, they don’t just feel different, but they look different.”
So, the St. Baldrick’s volunteers raise money by shaving their heads to support these kids or, in some cases, to remember them.
Money is raised by sponsors, Ramos said.
“We go to our neighbors, friends, family members and ask if they want to sponsor us for $5 or $10,” he said.
Attendance to the event is free, but people can register to donate and to have their heads shaved by visiting stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/14024/2021, Ramos said.
“We will also have some donation points set up at the event,” he said.
In addition, the National Ability Center will follow COVID-19 safety protocols that include a mask requirement for all who attend, Ramos said.
Food and refreshments will be provided by Barrio, a Salt Lake City-based restaurant, and the silent auction items and game prizes have been donated by local athletes, artists, spas and businesses, he said.
More children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease, and 1 child in 285 will be diagnosed before turning 20, according to a 2021 report by the National Cancer Institute.
Each year in the U.S., more than 15,700 children will be diagnosed with cancer, and while 40,000 children in the U.S. are on active treatment, 20% will not survive, the report indicated.
“Some cancers almost never strike after the age of 5, (while) others occur most often in teenagers,” Ramos said. “Many adult cancers can be diagnosed early, but in 80% of kids, cancer has already spread to other areas of the body by the time it is diagnosed.”
Even during treatment, children face all kinds of side effects, some that are very uncomfortable, and others that are life-threatening, he said.
“So in addition to finding cures, a lot of research is focused on preventing the lifelong damage that results from surgeries, radiation and chemotherapies given while young bodies and brains are just developing,” Ramos said.
Ramos, who has been involved with St. Baldrick’s for five years, moved to Park City from Denver last year.
“I felt so welcomed by the community, and since 2020 was such a rough year for people, I just wanted to do a little good for the world,” he said. “We hope people will come support the cause, whether they decide to shave your head, volunteer or donate.”
When: Noon-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 1
Where: National Ability Center, 1000 Ability Way at Quinn’s Junction
Noon — Participant arrival
Noon-3 p.m. — Family fun, games and prizes
12:30 p.m. — Silent auction opens
2:45 p.m. — Words from the National Ability Center
3 p.m. — Head shaving
4 p.m. — Silent auction closes and League of Honor induction
4:15 p.m. — Silent auction winners announced
4:30 p.m. — Closing remarks
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