Two Larchmont men were among the 531 men, women and children who raised over $530,000 for cancer research by shaving their heads at a March 6 St. Baldrick’s celebration.
The event was part of a nationwide St. Baldrick’s program in support of cancer research. It was hosted by TeamBrent, named for Brent McCreesh, a Connecticut boy who has been treated for cancer.
“I never imagined that such a simple act – going bald – could help to conquer kids’ cancer,” said Michael Daum, from Larchmont.
Mr. Daum’s team had gathered pledges and raised $72,000 as of last week.
His involvement with TeamBrent began six years ago, when he learned that two-year-old Brent McCreesh had been diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma – brain cancer. Brent, the son of Mr. Daum’s colleague, Mike McCreesh, was treated over the course of 15 months with six rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, three weeks of radiation and a dozen surgeries.
“Today Brent is a survivor who has no recollection of his treatment and his worries are about scoring a goal in soccer, not about keeping his platelets up so he can get chemo,” said Mr. Daum. “I can hardly reconcile this healthy, happy first grader with the bald toddler that he was.”
“Brent was lucky,” said Mr. Daum. “Ten years ago, a toddler with his diagnosis had almost no chance of survival. Even now, only 40% recover.”
“There are many pediatricians in my family,” said Mr. Daum. “So I am very aware that research is critical to continually improve medical treatments. I am now a father myself and I can’t imagine not helping. Compared to a child’s struggle, shaving my head is a small sacrifice that can help save lives.”
Another Larchmont shavee was Juan Fernandez. He too worked with Brent’s dad and saw what the family went through.
“For over three years Michael traveled back and forth to Boston and watched his young son go through countless treatments,” recalled Mr. Fernandez. “ As he struggled through this, Michael and his family decided to use his remaining time and energy to start TeamBrent, an organization that to date has raised over $3.5 million. Michael and Brent are a real life inspiration.”
TeamBrent is part of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, founded in 2000, which has raised over $60 million by shaving more than 107,000 heads in 24 countries.
TeamBrent’s annual event has grown so large that this year it took place at Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.
To learn more about TeamBrent go to www.TeamBrent.com