June 24, 2021

Cayman Islands community unites for childhood cancer research

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kids-group-photoGeorge Town, Grand Cayman, September 20, 2016

Over 1,000 people are expected to gather at the Wicket in Cricket Square on Friday evening to witness the 4th Annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave for the St Baldrick’s Foundation to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

Now in its fourth 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 has a 95% chance of relapse, and in the probable event of that relapse there are no known successful medical trials for us to follow,“ says Mrs. Meeson. “All childhood cancers combined receive only 4% of US federal funding for cancer research so without vital research funded by organizations like St Baldrick’s, Hannah and children like her will 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 is necessary for them all to travel frequently to the US for treatments and 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$200 million in childhood cancer research grants and three research grants have been named in Hannah’s honour, testament to the US$1,000 000 raised during head shaving events held in Cayman since 2013.

“Local support has been overwhelming again this year ”continued Mrs. Meeson. “Over 100 supporters will shave on Friday, including The Firebalds, a Fire Service team, MLA Winston Connolly, 7 year old Olly Thorpe, the Bald Angels, our first all female Shave team and a host of big hearted individuals and corporate teams and the parents of local cancer survivors. We are humbled to see the Cayman community united again in the fight against childhood cancer”.

At the time of press, over $75,000 had already been raised by shavees ahead of this year’s event with pregnant local mum and AL Thompsons HR Manager, Caron Murphy leading fundraising efforts with over $12,000 donated by friends and family ahead of her shaving.

The Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave for St Baldrick’s will take place on Friday 23 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 www.stbaldricks.org/events/hannahsheroes or email t[email protected] for more information.

 

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