To fight pediatric cancer, St. John’s University held its fifth annual St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser on Thursday, where students and faculty shaved off their hair to provide wigs for kids undergoing chemotherapy.
Over 60 students, faculty and administrators participated and 20 donated their hair to Locks of Love.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation was formed 15 years ago by St. John’s alum John Bender and two of his friends. Since then, the organization has raised more than $207 million.
“They’re giving back and they’re doing something that’s near and dear to my heart,” Bender said.
Before they turn 20, about two out of every 600 will be diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, there are over a dozen types of childhood cancers, making it difficult for researchers to find cures.
St. John's senior Jackie Herro, who lost her boyfriend Chris to brain cancer, shaved off her long blonde hair and raised more than $6,000 for the cause. Herro said it was a very emotional day, but she was glad she did it.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” she said. “To do something in his memory, I’m honored.”
St. John’s also honored two local children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, three-year-old Brian of Jamaica and six-year-old Joseph of Glendale, who attended the event with their parents.
Christian Marroney, Joseph’s father, was blown away by the amount of people who participated in the event. His son, who was diagnosed in November, is not in remission, but hopefully will be soon.
“Words can’t describe it,” he said. “It’s just fantastic.”
Tori Santangelo, executive director of Campus Ministry, said not only do people get their heads shaved, but many students participate in the fundraising, as well.
“I think the energy has only grown in the last five years,” she said.