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Volunteers hope to shave away childhood cancer

By Jessica Cohea, Morris Daily Herald

744 days ago   Article ID# 1541539
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St. Baldrick's Foundation

MORRIS, ILLINOIS (Morris Daily Herald) - The Gardner Volunteer Fire Department raised just under $5,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the department’s third-year honoree, Anastacio Cuevas, 7, of Minooka, Saturday, March 24, at their head-shaving event.

Out of approximately 200 people who came out to the event, about 40 of them shaved their heads in support of Anastacio and St. Baldrick’s efforts to finding a cure for childhood cancers, said Melissa Dunning, from the fire department.

This was Dunning’s third year shaving her head.

“It’s easier now,” she said. “The first year was kind of rough, but I really believe in St. Baldrick’s."

Dunning explained that most of the money raised through events like Gardner’s goes toward childhood cancer research.

According to the foundation’s annual report, 82 percent of the expenses in 2011 went to childhood cancer research, 16 percent went to fundraising and only 2 percent went to the “management and general” category.

As of Thursday, March 29, Gardner Fire Department had raised $4,981, but was still collecting at www.stbaldricks.org at the Gardner Volunteer Fire Department event page.

Their online donations had reached $1,569 by then. Their goal was $1,000.

Cash donations collected at the event totaled $2,018. Gardner also brought in $361 from raffle prizes, $170 on a 50/50 raffle, $150 in food donations, $658 for the silent auction and $55 from business tag donations, Dunning said.

The food and 50/50 raffle donations were given to Anastacio for his medical funds.

Grundy County board member David Welter won the 50/50 and received $85. Dunning said he gave it all right back to Anastacio, however.

Welter and Jason Helland, Republican candidate for Grundy County State’s Attorney, both shaved their heads.

In the end, Anastacio received $320 for his medical funds.

Anastacio was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia July, 29, 2008, according to his mother, Allison Cuevas.

He finished his 3 1/2 years of chemotherapy in November 2011, and will have follow-up blood tests for the next five years. Allison said he is in remission now, but will be considered “cured” after five years of clear blood tests.

“He’s doing good,” Allison said. “But he is small for his age.”

Mom is proud of Anastacio for being brave and shaving his head for the third year in a row. Last year, his two brothers, cousins and neighbor joined him in shaving their heads. His brothers and cousins shaved once again this year, too.

Anastacio told his mom he will be shaving every year for the rest of his life.

“It means a lot that people care,” Allison said about an event benefiting her son. “A lot of people I’ve never even met.”

Copyright 2014 Morris Daily Herald   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 744 days ago   Article ID# 1541539

St. Baldrick's Foundation    Visit Website

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