An Oxford resident is spearheading a large head-shaving event that will be held today — Sunday, May 20 — to raise money for children's cancer research.
Tony Cuomo, a Waterbury firefighter and reigning firefighter of the year in the Brass City, is organizing the third-annual Waterbury Fire Fighter's St. Baldrick's Event from noon to 6 p.m. today at the Waterville Fire House, 1551 Thomaston Ave., Waterbury. (See attached flyer for more information.)
for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which the organization's website says is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.
Along with his family, Cuomo became involved with fundraising efforts for childhood cancer research when his nephew, then-3-year-old Brent McCreesh, was fighting stage four neuroblastoma. Today, Brent is a survivor who has no recollection of his treatment, and his worries are about scoring goals in soccer, not about keeping his platelets up so he can get chemo – but the fight goes on, according to the website for TeamBrent, a volunteer organization named after Brent McCreesh that has raised about $5 million to fight childhood cancer.
"Brent is living proof that your efforts make a difference," the website states of the 9-year-old Connecticut boy. "It is our hope that someday no child dies of cancer."
The following information about St. Baldrick's and childhood cancers is from the organization's website, www.stbaldricks.org.
About St. Baldrick's
- What began as a challenge between friends in 2000 has grown into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising opportunity benefiting childhood cancer research.
- Since 2000, more than 146 million USD has been raised for childhood cancer research, including more than 27 million USD raised so far in 2012.
- The St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.
- In 2011, St. Baldrick’s awarded more than 21 million USD in grants.
Realities of Childhood Cancer
United States statistics:
- Childhood cancer kills more children than any other disease – more than AIDS, Asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies, combined.
- One in five children diagnosed with cancer will not survive.
- Two-thirds of childhood cancer patients will have a long lasting chronic condition from the very treatment that helped save their lives.
- Currently, childhood cancer research funding accounts for less than 4% of all cancer research funding allotted by the federal government.
- Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer each year.
- A child is diagnosed every 3½ minutes with cancer.
Signature Head-Shaving Events: The St. Baldrick’s Foundation coordinates worldwide signature head-shaving events where volunteers get bald to stand in solidarity with kids with cancer and raise money to support life-saving childhood cancer research.
- From 2000 to 2012, more than 241,500 shavees, including over 23,700 women, have shaved their heads at more than 5,400 St. Baldrick’s events worldwide.
- In 2011, more than 1,000 events were held and more than 45,300 volunteers, including over 5,200 women, shaved their heads - the most in St. Baldrick’s history.
- So far in 2012, more than 1,200 events and 51,000 shavees, including over 6,300 women, have registered on the Foundation’s website.