On April 1, 2014, I and more than 50 other rabbis are going to shave our heads:
- in solidarity with children and their families who suffer through cancer and cancer treatments
- in protest against the lack of options available to those children and their healthcare professionals
- in memory of Samuel Asher Sommer z”l, who died last December after an 18 month struggle with cancer
- and to raise funds for research so that future cancer sufferers will have more and better options than did Sam.
Did you know:
- Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes.
- Most childhood cancers are not related to lifestyle factors – they can’t be prevented by “living well.”
- In 80% of children, by the time the cancer is discovered, it has already spread within the body.
- More than 90% of survivors of childhood cancers will have lifelong conditions from their cancer treatments.
- Only a tiny percentage of federal cancer research funding goes for treatments for childhood cancers.
We can’t save Sammy, but we are raising funds to bring about better treatments for the children who will be diagnosed in the future. Current treatments are brutal and too often ineffective. Research dollars go to look for more effective treatments that do less damage to children.
I am asking you, my readers, to participate in this drive by donating through my page at the St.Baldrick’s Foundation. Even the smallest donation will make a difference; I checked, and the website will accept a donation of even $1.
St. Baldrick’s, by the way, is not a religious foundation. “St. Baldrick” is a combination of “bald” and “St. Patrick’s,” a reference to the fact that the first fundraising head-shaves took place on March 17, 2000. St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a good steward of the funds you donate; Charity Navigator gives it a coveted 3-star rating.
If my words have ever been useful to you, or if the story of Superman Sam has touched your heart, I beg you to give, if not through my page, then through the page of some other rabbi you know. In these months of Adar, when “joy increases” let’s do something concrete to increase the years in young lives, and the joy in the lives of young families.
To donate through my page at “36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave” and to donate to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, please click here.
3 thoughts on “A Heartfelt Request”
Wow, what a courageous thing to do rabbi. This is such a tender issue. A woman’s hair is simultaneously her security blanket and part of her identity.
Thanks, Ruth. It is a rather alarming thought, I admit. I signed up for it because I was distraught at that child’s death, and at the memories it stirred up for me, and I felt I needed to do something. Thank you for the kind words.