June 16, 2021

Cayman Islands’ community unites for Childhood Cancer Research

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George Town, Grand Cayman, September 23, 2017 More than 1000 people packed The Wicket Bar in Cricket Square on Friday evening for the 5th annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave to raise funds for the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research.

107 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, Gaylene Meeson, whose daughter Hannah was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in 2012; Trent Grant, parents to leukemia survivor Tayden, age 10; Woody Foster, whose 10 year old daughter Charli was diagnosed age 2 and Richard Reading father of 6 year old Annabelle, also a leukemia survivor. Also present was 7 year old Beau Shields who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, age 5 months.

Mrs. Meeson welcomed the crowd praising the Cayman community’s continued support of fundraising for research and was joined on stage by Woody Foster who led the audience in a prayer celebrating childhood. St Baldrick’s CEO Ms. Kathleen Ruddy travelled from California to attend the event and recognize supporters in Cayman. “ I am profoundly moved by the way the Cayman community has united to support Hannah’s Heroes and take childhood back from cancer,” Ms. Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I am honored to be able to attend the event this year and meet the dedicated volunteers and donors who have united to help children survive cancer, “ Ms Ruddy told the gathered crowd.

Now in its fifth year, Hannah’s Heroes is one of the most successful shave events in the world for St Baldrick’s having raised over US $1.5 million for childhood cancer research. Since 2005, St Baldrick’s has donated more than $230M in the form of 1052 grants to more than 358 institutions in 28 countries.

Top fundraising teams included Maples and Balder ($31,161), “Savage Cuts”- Savage Consulting ($26,269), KPMG ($20,826), Shear Triangle ($19,091) and DART ($16,360). 12 children also braved the shave at the event including 9 year old Savannah Primary student, Kylie Freeland who shaved alongside her grandfather Herbert Crawford and told the gathered crowd that she wanted to help kids less fortunate than her. Natasha Casebolt was the top performing individual, raising $10,512. Ms. Casebolt was one of more than 20 shavees who donated hair to UK charity The Little Princess Trust
who make wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment.

Amongst the honoured returning shavees were St Baldrick’s Squires of Hope, Eugene Nolan, Matthew Bishop, Joshua Pawlik and The Cayman Islands Fire Service “Firebalds” Team as well as 10 year old Nathan Suitor and 12 year old Matteo Carbini.

At the time of press, this year’s Big Shave has raised US $267,000 with funds still pouring in and several more fundraising events planned over the next ten days including a coin drive at Cayman Prep Primary school which will run until 6th October.

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

The attached photos are:

Andreas Marcher with Natasha Casebolt, highest individual fundraiser
Michelle Taylor
The Cayman Islands Fire Service Team “The Firebalds with Gaylene Meeson and St Baldrick’s CEO Kathleen Ruddy
Child shavees and Hannah’s Heroes founder, Gaylene Meeson
The Big Shave crowd

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