June 14, 2021

Cayman Islands community unites for childhood cancer research

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dbi_3612George Town, Grand Cayman, September 24, 2016 More than 1000 people packed The Wicket Bar in Cricket Square on Friday evening for the 4th annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave to raise funds for the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research.

118 men, women and children shaved their heads to raise funds and demonstrate their solidarity with children fighting cancer who often lose their hair following chemotherapy treatment. Amongst the freshly shorn were the parents of Cayman’s childhood cancer survivors, Nigel and Gaylene Meeson, whose daughter Hannah was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in 2012; Trent and Belinda Grant, parents to leukemia survivor Tayden, age 9; Woody Foster, whose 9 year old daughter Charli was diagnosed age 2 and Richard Reading father of 5 year old Annabelle, also a leukemia survivor. Also present was 6 year old Beau Shields was diagnosed with neuroblastoma., age 5 months.

img_8425Mrs Meeson welcomed the crowd praising the Cayman community’s continued support of fundraising for research and led an emotional prayer, “The Prayer of the Bald Momma”, written by Mechon Evangelista-Ebanks, mother of 3 year old Mimi who was diagnosed with brain cancer at six weeks of age.

“Every one of you is Hannah’s Hero. This community and the St Baldrick’s Foundation fill me with hope for a better future for children fighting cancer”.

Now in its fourth year, Hannah’s Heroes is one of the most successful shave events in the world for St Baldrick’s, said the charity’s Hero Fund Manager, Kelly Forebaugh. Since 2005, St Baldrick’s has donated more than $200M in the form of 962 grants to more than 358 institutions in 26 countries.

Top fundraising teams included Maples and Balder ($33,181), Harney, Westwood and Razors ($19,841), PwC ($12,698), Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman ($6343), DART ($5191) and an all female shave team, “The Bald Angels” who raised over $7,346 and received news while on stage that Red Sail Sports will match their fundraising efforts. The Angels team included Cayman Prep teacher, Claire Hughes, who told the crowd that as a teacher and a mother she could think of no better example of helping others.

Amongst the honoured returning shavees were Councillor Winston Connolly and 7 year old Olly Thorpe who was joined on stage by 9 year old Nathan Suitor and 10 year old Trevor Carmola. Trevor donated 22” of his hair to UK charity The Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment.

At the time of press, this year’s Big Shave has raised $219,128 with funds still pouring in and several more fundraising events planned over the next ten days including a student shave at Cayman Prep High School on 30th September and register donations from Fosters Food Fair-IGA’s year of giving, which features the St Baldrick’s Foundation as the chosen charity for September, childhood cancer awareness month.

Donations can be made by visiting www.stbaldricks.org/events/hannahsheroes

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