The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

March 5, 2013

Brave children stand up to cancer

Shaved heads: A symbol of raising research funds

CLINTON — Brave donors young and old will be shaving their heads to further cancer research and save the lives of children across the country at the annual Just Irish Enough Saint Baldrick’s fundraiser. 

Fourth-grader Sadia Holt has been waiting over a year to step up to the challenge.

“My grandma and art teacher shaved their heads before at the event and I really wanted to help out,” Sadia said.

The Jefferson Elementary student is a determined one-woman team, who has raised $950, far surpassing her original goal of $500 and putting her team, The Grateful Heads, in first place. Friends, family and other donors heard about her valiant effort and wanted to help the cause.

“I’m really proud of her,” Mom Crystle Liebhart said. “She is very brave. It’s not easy doing something like this on your own.”

Sadia first told her mom that she wanted to shave her head last year, but Crystle said she should think about it and wait until next year. Ever since, Sadia was asking her mom about it nearly everyday. Last week Sadia spoke to her classmates about why she was shaving her head.

The annual event set for March 16 at the DeWitt Community Center and Lincoln Park in DeWitt, serves many children suffering from a variety of cancers. One of the most enthusiastic beneficiaries and participants is 6-year-old Joseph Burken, of DeWitt, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July 2011. Burken and his family have been very active with the event, raising money and sacrificing locks.

“This young man is the epitome of how resilient a child could be,” Burken’s doctor, Sue O'Dorisio, said. “It’s amazing to see the response of children who have health problems helping other children with illnesses. In return they really help the community.”

This year, O'Dorisio will speaking at the event and discussing her gratitude to the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation that granted her funds to revolutionize the way childhood brain cancer is dealt with and ultimately save lives.

With the new grant, O’Dorisio and her colleagues will be able to identify the severity of a brain tumor before the first surgery, thus identifying those who could be cured without radiation therapy. It will also allow the doctors to measure how well chemotherapy is working, so they can change the therapy faster. Lastly, the new discovery will allow them to locate relapse earlier.

“This could really change the way we do things,” O’Dorisio said. “We will be able to figure out if it is a low grade tumor or a more aggressive tumor and better inform the neurosurgeon.”

Despite her impressive background and advanced education, O’Dorisio says that it is really the children who make the difference.

“What a privilege it is to work with children who are meeting these great challenges,” O’Dorisio said.

Day of registration for the event starts at 11 a.m. followed by the walking parade at 12 p.m. and the shaving of the heads ceremony at 1 p.m. There will also be food vendors, bake sale, kids activities, music and more. Participants are encouraged to don Irish-themed gear.

Event T-shirts will be available for purchase. All shavees will receive a shirt.

Event organizers are still looking for more volunteers, participants and shavees for the event. They hope to raise $40,000 at this year’s event, the community raised $38,000 last year. For more information visit stbaldricks.org or contact Jennifer Naeve at 563-249-3854. The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

1
Text Only
Features
  • World Book Night A big love for books CLINTON -- Sharing a love for books is something members of the Clinton Public Library have always promoted and embraced. On Wednesday, they will join the rest of the world in spreading that love throughout communities. World Book Night, which conve

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17-14 Trees forever photo 2 Let it grow (with Video)

    CLINTON - A new generation of trees will be planted by a young generation of Irish. Wednesday during class, Lisa Golden's Prince of Peace Prep third-graders continued their year-long biology education with the help of Clinton's Trees Forever organiza

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Communities prep for hunts CLINTON -- Easter weekend is nearly here and two local organizations are calling all children for the hunting event of the year -- Easter egg hunting that is. Both Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will host Easter egg hunts Saturday, each at different time

    April 17, 2014

  • Women's Expo set for Tuesday at Wild Rose CLINTON -- It is time again to gather the girlfriends and head out to the Ultimate Spring Women's Expo at the Wild Rose Event Center in Clinton. The third annual expo from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, hosted by the Clinton Herald, offers an opportuni

    April 14, 2014

  • Fulton housing loan Program to assist Fulton resident FULTON, Ill. -- Brian Hollenback and Beth Payne delivered good news last week, traveling to seven cities, three counties and two states, ending their journey in Fulton. Hollenback, who is the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition president, and its

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stutting Camanche native tapped to head North Scott schools CLINTON -- A Camanche native will return to his roots this June, after being selected as the new superintendent for the North Scott Community School District. Joe Stutting, a 1987 graduate of Camanche High School, has been away from his hometown for

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • preview-1.jpg Luau raises funds to support programming

    CLINTON -- Hundreds of supporters and volunteers gathered Friday night to endorse a lifesaving organization in the Gateway area. The 10th annual Gateway Area Red Cross Luau kicked off the night at the Tuscany Event Center at Rastrelli's with a buffet

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anderson Meet Your Neighbor: Gardening serves multiple purposes

    CLINTON -- For Kathy Anderson, gardening is something she has always enjoyed. "For as long as I remember, I have been obsessed with being outside," Kathy said. "My mother never had to ask twice for me to go outside and play." At 5 and 6 years old, Ka

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • Longman.jpg Stars and stripes to fly at half-staff

    Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa to be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. today until 8 a.m. Monday in honor of a World War II airman, whose remains were recovered more than 70 years after being killed in action.
    Lt. Louis L. Longman, a 26-year old at the time he was last seen April 16, 1944, was a Clinton native. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps Air Force and when he was last seen, his unit was returning from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook