A Banner Fundraising Year for School of Medicine’s St. Baldrick’s Day

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APRIL 17, 2016–On April 15, the Med-Dent podium was bustling with Georgetown faculty, students and staff, many of them with newly shaved heads, all in the name of childhood cancer research.

Forty-five volunteers had their heads shaved or their hair cut in solidarity with pediatric cancer patients who lose their hair during treatment at Georgetown’s seventh annual St. Baldrick’s Day. Ten of those volunteers donated their long hair for wigs.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds childhood cancer research, in large part through their signature headshaving events. In 2016 alone, the foundation has raised $26,977,028, which will be directed to “carefully selected research grants,” according to the foundation’s website.  

“We just want to get bigger and bigger every year,” said Catherine Mackey (M’18), one of the event organizers at Georgetown. “As of Friday morning, we raised over $30,000 and last year, we were able to raise about $18,000, so we are very, very psyched.”  

The total amount raised, including food and beverage sales and other day-of donations, was more than $40,000, breaking Georgetown’s record for St. Baldrick’s fundraising. School of Medicine students also worked with a local bar, Town Hall, so that students could get drink deals by making a $5 donation to St. Baldrick’s.

Kimberly Johnson (M’18), donated her long hair, then shaved her head for the event.

“I did it for a lot of reasons. I attended the event last year and I was really struck by the solidarity. Also, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer last year and when I was in fourth grade, a girl at my school died from childhood cancer. It’s in every family. Everyone has exposure to it. And people need to know there is support out there,” she said.

St. Baldrick’s activities also included a musical performance by Joseph Timpone, MD, associate program director of research of the residency program at the School of Medicine, a bone marrow drive and a bake sale.

Leigh Ann Renzulli     
GUMC Communications