St. Baldrick’s Day: Raising money to end pediatric cancer

A participant getting his head shaved during Saint Baldrick's Day on April 7, 2018. - Staff Photo / Miguel Martinez

St. Baldrick’s took over the Student Center Pit Saturday, April 7, for their eighth annual event with students, faculty and the Glassboro community participating raising money to end pediatric cancer.

The event, run by the Student University Programmers (SUP), raised $22,206.86 towards ending the fight of pediatric cancer.

Emily Ostrowski, director of charitable events for SUP, brought together 45 people to shave their heads with the hopes of raising $40,000 by the end of the day. Volunteering their time and support, Hair to There and Sportsclips shaved the heads of the participants.

“I just think its really cool to see not only Rowan students but faculty members, staff members [and] community members, all come together for the same cause,” said Assistant Director for Marketing and Student Programs with the Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities Melissa Ulmer. “We’re really fortunate here to have a lot of families that have benefited from the foundation come and speak, so that’s really nice to because it shows that the money that we’re raising and the impact that we’re creating truly has a lasting impact, not only on pediatric cancer research but the foundation. I like to see that kind of direct impact.”

Students from all different walks of life gathered together to support their fellow classmates shave their heads for a good cause.

Colleen Scott, a senior public relations major, came out to support her classmate Ostrowski, who was one of the few females who shaved their heads.

“She said that she was shaving her head in memory of her childhood friend that actually passed away and when they were in like 8th grade,” Scott said. “I definitely think that that’s going to be intense. It’s crazy, it takes a lot of courage to do that.”

Along with the rounds of people shaving their heads, numerous guest speakers took to the stage, sharing their stories with pediatric cancer and the help that the St. Baldrick’s foundation gave them.

Greg Hoyt, one of the guest speakers, had a daughter Campbell, who was diagnosed with anapestic ependymoma when she was just three years old. Its a rare form of brain/spine cancer that she battled for five years before her death in 2014.

“St. Baldrick’s, when you’re on the other side of this with a child with cancer, really what a room like this shows you is that there’s hope,” Hoyt said. “There’s hope for your child, there’s hope for other children [who] are fighting this dreadful dreadful disease that kills too many of our children. It’s really killing our future and coming in here and seeing the hope really just gives you the additional courage to continue the fight.”

According to the Team Campbell Foundation, Campbell was first taken to the emergency room because of a high fever and then admitted to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma. Campbell underwent eight brain surgeries, developed bacterial meningitis as a result of one of her treatments for brain cancer, had eight brain tumors, five spinal tumors, one spinal surgery, a total of 116 rounds of radiation therapy and countless CT scans and MRIs.

Campbell contracted scoliosis, forcing her to wear a full body brace, along with the deterioration of her vertebrae and bones. In 2014, Campbell underwent her last surgery, where two of the largest brain tumors were removed successfully, making her a survivor of pediatric cancer. Unfortunately, two days later she passed away surrounded by her family from the weakened state the treatments had left her in.

“They’re [St. Baldrick’s] making a difference in the lives of children everyday. It’s events like this that are going to fund the research project that finds a cure for the disease. While it’s too late for my daughter it’s not too late for the other children, the 46 kids [who] will be diagnosed and the 46 the day after that. It’s going to take an event like this to donate that last dollar to find a cure,” Hoyt said.

For questions/comments about this story, email or tweet @TheWhitOnline.