Tag Archives: pediatric cancer

BOLD & BALD: St. John’s loses locks for cancer research


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Ana Santos only flinched once as all her hair fell to the ground. 

The 30-year-old former St. John’s University student was one of nine women and 47 men to shave their heads Thursday during a child cancer research fundraiser in the school’s student center.

“Hair is nothing,” the East Meadow speech pathologist said. “We’ve lost a lot of people in my family to cancer. There’s nothing more important than health and their lives.”

Santos donated a foot of hair and went bald for the first time to mirror her loved ones still battling the disease.

“Everyone in my family with cancer is bald right now,” she said. “I was crying before I got here. I’m trying to give them all my strength to let them know they can get through it.”

Santos held her tears back, periodically checking out her new do on her phone.

But 21-year-old Jackie Herro opened up the floodgates, when flashbacks of her boyfriend Chris, who succumbed to cancer in 2011, raced through her mind.

“It was very emotional knowing I was doing it for Chris,” the Red Storm senior said. “I cried even more when I looked down in the crowd and saw how many people were there to support me. They were happy tears.”

Herro had more than a foot of her bleached blonde hair snipped off, raising more than $7,000 for the cause.

“I would go up and do it again,” she said. “There’s no other feeling like it.”

The Johnnies, in the event’s fifth year, raised more than $35,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And 26 others chopped off at least eight inches of hair to donate to Locks of Love.

“All these students are learning at a young age what adults take a lifetime to learn,” former St. Baldrick’s chairman John Bender said, “the importance of giving back and being involved in something larger than yourself.”

“They’ll take this experience with them,” he said.

 

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Bayside kids sell lemonade to raise funds for cancer awareness


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

When life gives you lemons, start up a lemonade stand.

That’s what Olivia Esposito, 8, and Paul Esposito, 6, did out of their apartment building’s basement on Dec. 8.

The Bayside siblings raised $922 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a national charity organization that benefits pediatric cancer awareness, at The Towers at Water’s Edge’s community center.

“I want to help out,” said Paul, a first grader at Sacred Heart School.

The youngsters enthusiastically doled out cup after cup of lemonade for two hours to about 50 residents, according to their mother, Anne Marie Esposito.

The stand was set up to honor Anne Marie’s late sister, Ellen Medici, who died at age 5 from a brain tumor.

“I’m really touched by all the people who have been so generous,” Anne Marie said. “I wanted the kids to learn a simple but powerful message to give back from their hearts. It’s very important for them to learn, especially in the times we live in.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started in 2005 in memory of Alexandra Scott, who died of cancer at age 8. Since then, the foundation has raised more than $65 million to help fund more than 375 research projects.

“I’m very proud of them, and they’re proud to do it,” Anne Marie said of her proactive kids. “They want a cure, just as Alex wanted a cure.”

To donate, click here.

 

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