Sylvester Researcher Will Shave His Head to Raise Money for Pediatric Cancer Research

Two University of Miami undergraduates have organized a head-shaving event to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Called Canes Go Bald 4 Kids, it will be held on the Coral Gables campus Friday, April 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

First under the clippers will be the event’s guest speaker, John M. Goldberg, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program.

The head-shaving — a symbolic act to show solidarity with children who lose their hair during cancer treatments — is a central part of fund-raising efforts affiliated with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization that supports research in the field of pediatric cancers.

“St. Baldrick’s Foundation has generously supported pediatric cancer research at Sylvester for several years,” said Goldberg, who recently received his third grant from the organization. “This year, they are making it possible for our team to provide immune treatments to children with the worst cancers. In return, Canes Go Bald 4 Kids is helping to make a difference here in Miami through its support for St. Baldrick’s.”

The April 10 event is being organized by two juniors, Maite Torres and Muniphe Green, who are members of the Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority. For Torres, there is a special connection.

“Three years ago, my youngest cousin, Xavier, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer,” she said. “My relatives live far from Miami, in upstate New York, so I wanted to do something supportive that would impact our local community but with which my cousin could also identify.

“I have been growing my hair out for four years in order to donate it to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients. I have also decided to go bald this year to support all the children, like my cousin, who lose their hair to cancer treatments. The Canes Go Bald 4 Kids event gives me a way to achieve both goals.”

Goldberg, meanwhile, hopes to recruit other Sylvester care-givers to join him for the event.

“I can’t promise what other people will do,” he said. “I’m just planning to go and speak, and, of course, get a haircut.”

So sign up for Canes Go Bald 4 Kids or to make a donation, click here.

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