The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of children’s cancer research, hosted one of its signature head-shaving events at The Barbershop at Borgata’s Spa Toccare on April 27 where team members, guests, and friends shaved their heads to raise money for lifesaving childhood cancer research.
Every 2 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide, and in the U.S. one in five kids diagnosed won’t survive. Those who do survive often suffer long-term effects from treatments too harsh for their developing bodies. As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, St. Baldrick’s is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer. From its beginnings, St. Baldrick’s has believed that kids deserve the chance to be kids – fun-loving, carefree, refreshingly honest, and always a little goofy – and deserve the chance at a healthy future. That’s why donations raised at events like this have made it possible for St. Baldrick’s to fund more than $232 million to support the best childhood cancer research, wherever it takes place.
We chatted with some of the Borgata team members who took the plunge to “go bald”…and why they did it!
Khoi Bui — Front Desk Manager
Has cancer ever impacted you, your family, or your friends? Cancer runs in my family and my mother is the first to survive it. She was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 13 years old.
Why did you decide to shave your head for St. Baldricks? I decided to shave my head for St. Baldrick’s because I want to show my support to those who are effected by cancer.
What’s the one thing you are most excited / apprehensive about when it comes to shaving your head? I don’t exactly know why but I was just simply excited to show my support. I was totally ready to shave my head on the day of the event. If I was given the option to go completely bald, I would have done it.
What kind of support did you get from Borgata, your family, and your friends to participate in this St. Baldricks event? I received so much support from my family, friends, and team. When I first started, my personal goal was set at $250. I exceeded that goal after a week, so I changed it to $500. I again accomplished that goal so for one last time I set my personal goal to $750. The day before St. Baldrick’s I was at $610 so I posted a reminder on my Facebook page and reached out to some team member’s at work to ask for their support to help me reach my goal. On the day of St. Baldrick’s, I checked my page and saw that I had reached $760!
Miguel Figueroa — Customer Care Representative
Why did you decide to shave your head for St. Baldricks? What sealed the deal for me was that I can donate my hair after buzzing it. Not only would I be able to raise awareness for childhood cancer research, but knowing my hair could be made into a wig felt ultimately rewarding. Donating my hair has always been something I wanted to do. The opportunity arose and jumped to it!
Stefani Nail — Customer Care VIP Specialist
Has cancer ever impacted you, your family, or your friends? Yes, my Grandfather died of lung cancer when I was seven. My grandmother had colon cancer when I was about ten, but thankfully she has been in remission for about 20 years now.
Why did you decide to shave your head for St. Baldricks? While I have never personally known anyone with childhood cancer, many people that I know have lost someone close to them. Children deserve to have a carefree childhood without the worry diseases such as cancer.
What’s the one thing you are most excited / apprehensive about when it comes to shaving your head? I’m most worried about my head being a weird shape once the hair is off!
What kind of support did you get from Borgata, your family, and your friends to participate in this St. Baldricks event? At first my family asked if I was crazy, but everyone has been really supportive by donating and saying they think I’ll look cute without my hair.
Karen Peters – Fine Dining Group Sales Manager
Has cancer ever impacted you, your family, or your friends? I am surrounded by family members who have had cancer:
- All in their 80’s, three of my four grandparents died from cancer.
- Both my father and one of my younger brothers were diagnosed with prostate cancer (approximately 15 years apart). Dad had traditional surgery with a six week recovery time and continues to monitor his PSA counts. My brother had a minimally invasive procedure performed by the daVinci robotic laser with one week recovery time, back to work in two weeks. He has been told he is cancer free. Watching my father break down and apologize to my brother for ‘his inheritance” was one of the saddest moments in my life.
- A few years ago, my sister-in-law went to a “girl’s night out” event at a newly opened women’s radiology center where they all had apps & drinks and received a mammogram. She was called back the next day for a second mammogram and sent for follow up with her physician. Ultimately diagnosed with cancer in the left breast, due to the location of the cancer in proximity to her heart, course of action was a lumpectomy followed by proton therapy versus traditional radiation. The depth of the beam is more controllable with proton therapy. She has been told she is cancer –free.
- My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. Course of action was lumpectomy followed by radiation. She has been told she is cancer free.
- My husband, for years had been a heavy smoker, developed a squamous cell carcinoma on the spot where his cigarette rested on his right lower lip. When completely excised, the tumor was 1/3 the size of his lip. The malignant tumor was successfully removed by traditional surgery followed by reconstruction of his mouth.
Why did you decide to shave your head for St. Baldricks? Prior to Borgata partnering with St Baldrick’s, I was familiar with the Foundation, their fund-raising events and their specific emphasis on childhood cancer research. I used to say “perhaps someday”. Something clicked inside and told me “Now was the time.”
What’s the one thing you are most excited / apprehensive about when it comes to shaving your head? How to keep my head and the back of my neck warm!!!
What kind of support did you get from Borgata, your family, and your friends to participate in this St. Baldricks event? Positively wonderful encouragement from my Borgata family, true family, friends and customers.
Kevin Hunt – Slot Operations Supervisor
Has cancer ever impacted you, your family, or your friends? I do not know one person that has not had cancer impact them in some way in their life.
Why did you decide to shave your head for St. Baldricks? I was made aware of it in my Borgata e-mail and started to talk to my family about doing this. One of my daughters, who happens to be a nurse, was familiar with St. Baldrick’s and said that they do very positive things.
What’s the one thing you are most excited / apprehensive about when it comes to shaving your head? I am excited that we are all doing something about childhood cancer as a team. My youngest daughter said to me “Dad you are not as young as you use to be; are you sure you hair will grow back?” My wife had a comment that maybe when it comes back I will have one color no more salt and pepper. Funny people!
What kind of support did you get from Borgata, your family, and your friends to participate in this St. Baldricks event? I have had great support from my family, friends, and Borgata and its great employees.