December 2, 2023

Cayman Islands Community unites for Childhood Cancer Research

George Town, Grand Cayman, September 13 2017
Over 1,000 people are expected to gather at the Wicket in Cricket Square next Friday [22] evening to witness the 5th Annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave for the St Baldrick’s Foundation to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

Now in its fifth year, the event was conceived by Cayman residents Gaylene and Nigel Meeson to raise awareness about childhood cancer. In 2012 their daughter Hannah was diagnosed with anaplastic medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer. Hannah will turn 10 on 18 September.

“Hannah currently has “No Evidence of Disease”. We never thought we would celebrate Hannah’s 10th birthday and she has amazingly defied the odds that left her with a less than 5% 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,” says Mrs. Meeson. “Hannah is not alone; by the time childhood cancer survivors are 45 years old, more than 95% 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 in Cayman are involved in helping raise funds and awareness, including Skylar “Mimi” Ebanks, Annabelle Reading, Beau Shields, Tayden Grant, and Charli Foster. As there is no treatment available for childhood cancer in the Cayman Islands it was necessary for them all to travel frequently to the US for treatment and still for ongoing check-ups.

Hannah’s Heroes is a Hero Fund of the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research in the US. Since inception The St Baldrick’s Foundation have awarded US$230 million in childhood cancer research grants and since 2012 has been funding the groundbreaking research that led to the FDA approval of CAR T Cell therapy for children with leukemia just last month.

St Baldrick’s CEO, Kathleen Ruddy is traveling from California to attend this year’s Big Shave and thank the Cayman community in person for their continued fundraising efforts. Ms. Ruddy’s travel is sponsored by local firm Conyers Dill & Pearman.

“I am profoundly moved by the way the Cayman community has united to support Hannah’s Heroes and take childhood back from cancer,” says Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “Since the first head shaving event in 2013, Hannah’s Heroes has raised over US $1.4 million to fund lifesaving childhood cancer research. Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave is one of St. Baldrick’s largest events and I am honoured to be able to attend the event this year and meet the dedicated volunteers and donors who have generated such resources to help children survive cancer.”

In recognition of Hannah’s brave battle and her quest to raise awareness and funding St Baldrick’s have named 4 specific research grants since 2013 in honour of Hannah’s Heroes.

Amongst those braving the Big Shave next week are Cayman Islands fire service team, The Firebalds, corporate teams “Maples & Balder”, DART, PwC and MUFG, the parents of local childhood cancer survivors and several school children. At the time of press, over $60,000 had already been raised by shavees ahead of this year’s event.

The Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave for St Baldrick’s will take place on Friday 22 September at The Wicket in Cricket Square from 5-9pm and features a silent auction, balloon prize raffle and food and drinks specials from the Brasserie.

Visit or email [email protected] for more information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind