by Emily Luxen
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Some Mid-State residents took a bold step and went bald Friday in an effort to fight childhood cancer.
The Murfreesboro Medical Clinic's 4th annual "Bald in the 'Boro" event raised thousands of dollars for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research grants.
Hundreds of people turned out for the event at Lanes, Trains and Automobiles, to make donations and then get their heads shaved. Many took before and after pictures, and some even sported some St. Patrick's Day-themed mohawks.
"There are so many stories you hear from different people," said Tracy Tucker, a volunteer from the Beehive Salon helping at the event. "Some are shaving their head in honor of a loved one who passed away, or it might be for someone who beat cancer. I'll be honest, I'll be shaving heads and have tears running down my face."
Cancer survivor Jason Benson came to shave his head to celebrate his victory against the disease, and help others. He was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at 8 months old, and has been growing his hair out ever since he finished his treatment.
"It's shocking he will be losing 21 inches of hair," said Sue Benson, Jason's mom. "It's not a surprise he wants to serve people and help them."
All participants hope each dramatic makeover will do a small part in ending childhood cancer.
"The money that is going to these kids does make a difference," said Leigh Bills, as she had her head shaved. "Even if they lose a battle, there will be another who keeps fighting. We will find a cure for it."
The St. Baldrick's Foundation reports more children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease. Before they turn 20, about one in 300 boys and one in 333 girls will have cancer. Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every three minutes.