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OCO Cancer Services Program Creates Human Blue Ribbon

PULASKI, NY – Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program wrapped up its Colorectal Cancer Awareness month campaign by creating the first-ever human blue ribbon in Oswego County.

Nearly 35 community members gathered at the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department dressed in blue, to raise awareness of colorectal cancer. The group formed a human blue ribbon in recognition of March being Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Nearly 35 community members gathered at the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department dressed in blue, to raise awareness of colorectal cancer. The group formed a human blue ribbon in recognition of March being Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Approximately 35 people, dressed in blue, gathered at the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department, 12 Lake St., to form the ribbon.

“It was a great experience,” said CSP Coordinator, Carolyn Handville. “We were pleased with the turnout and excited to have accomplished our goals to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, form the first human blue ribbon and more importantly, to distribute free colorectal screening kits and information about the many other free cancer screenings that OCO’s Cancer Service Program offers.”

Throughout the month of March the OCO’s Cancer Services Program was busy spreading the word about the availability of free colorectal screening kits and other cancer screenings that the program offers to uninsured Oswego County residents.

“We partnered with businesses along North Jefferson Street to help Pulaski’s main street ‘Go Blue’ to raise awareness of colorectal cancer in Oswego County and encourage people to receive their necessary cancer screenings. We provided the businesses with blue lights and program information to distribute to their customers to educate them on the importance of early detection of cancer,” added Handville.

The high point of OCO’s Cancer Services Program’s “Main Streets Go Blue” campaign was March 26 as community members came together to form the first human blue ribbon in Oswego County.

In addition, representatives from OCO’s Cancer Services Program distributed free colorectal cancer screening kits and enrollers from OCO’s Facilitated Enrollment Department met with community members to determine if they were eligible for Family Health Plus or Medicaid.

With all of the exposure and promotion that breast cancer receives, Handville said it was time for colorectal cancer to receive the same attention.

“We want people to talk as openly about colorectal cancer as they do breast cancer. Many people are not aware of their risk for colorectal cancer and are not being screened at recommended intervals,” she explained.

OCO’s Cancer Services Program wrapped up its Go Blue campaign with a special event at the Ringgold Fire Department in Pulaski on March 26. During the event the CSP held a drawing for two fishing poles. Pictured are the winners, from left: Freeman Cole; Katie Batchelor, program assistant with OCO’s Cancer Services Program; Greg Handville; and Carolyn Handville, coordinator of OCO’s Cancer Services Program.

OCO’s Cancer Services Program wrapped up its Go Blue campaign with a special event at the Ringgold Fire Department in Pulaski on March 26. During the event the CSP held a drawing for two fishing poles. Pictured are the winners, from left: Freeman Cole; Katie Batchelor, program assistant with OCO’s Cancer Services Program; Greg Handville; and Carolyn Handville, coordinator of OCO’s Cancer Services Program.

Excluding skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the US. It is estimated that one in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.

Each year in New York State, more than 10,400 people develop colorectal cancer, and nearly 3,600 New Yorkers die from this disease.

Regular screenings are especially important for the early detection of colorectal cancer.

If colorectal cancer is caught in its early stages, it has a 91% survival rate, compared to the 10% if caught late.

According to Handville, OCO’s CSP enrolled 20 new clients into the program and provided colorectal cancer screening kits to more than a dozen people this month alone.

“It has been a successful March and we would not have been able to do it if it wasn’t for the support we received from our community partners, the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department, and the businesses along North Jefferson Street in Pulaski who participated in our Go Blue campaign,” she said.

OCO’s Cancer Services Program Partnership consists of 21 provider offices throughout the county.

The partnership works diligently together providing quality breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to uninsured community members.

To learn more about the partnership, call 315-342-0888 ext 1455.

For more information, visit www.oco.org

Pulaski Helps Fight Cancer

Pulaski Helps Fight Cancer

Pulaski Helps Fight Cancer

PULASKI, NY – Pulaski Mayor, Ernest Wheeler, and Coordinator of Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program, Carolyn Handville, display the shirts that the CSP distributed to community members as they gathered at the Ringgold Fire Department, 12 Lake St., on March 26 to raise awareness of colorectal cancer and form the first-ever human blue ribbon in Oswego County.

Representatives of the CSP also distributed information about free colorectal cancer screenings and other cancer screenings that the program offers to uninsured Oswego County residents.

For more information on OCO’s Cancer Services Program, call 315-342-0888, ext. 1454.

OCO’s Cancer Services Program To Make Human Blue Ribbon

PULASKI, NY – In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program joined merchants along Jefferson Street in Pulaski to make Pulaski’s main street “Go Blue” to raise awareness of colorectal cancer in Oswego County and encourage people to receive their necessary cancer screenings.

Representatives from OCO’s Cancer Services Program visited businesses and distributed information on the free cancer screenings that the program offers.

Daniel Laveck, owner of Edible Construction Co. & Bakery in Pulaski, and Carolyn Handville, coordinator of OCO’s Cancer Services Program, display one of the items OCO has provided merchants along Jefferson Street to distribute to their customers as part of OCO’s “Main Streets Go Blue” campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.

Daniel Laveck, owner of Edible Construction Co. & Bakery in Pulaski, and Carolyn Handville, coordinator of OCO’s Cancer Services Program, display one of the items OCO has provided merchants along Jefferson Street to distribute to their customers as part of OCO’s “Main Streets Go Blue” campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.

The Cancer Services Program’s efforts to raise awareness of colorectal cancer will culminate on March 26 when they will make the first human blue ribbon in Oswego County.

Coordinator of the Cancer Services Program Partnership, Carolyn Handville is asking community members to wear something blue and join them at 10 a.m. that day at the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department, 12 Lake St., to form the ribbon.

The Cancer Services Program will join OCO’s Facilitated Enrollment Department March 26 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department to provide the community with an opportunity to pick up their free colorectal cancer screening kit and meet with an enroller to determine if they are eligible for Family Health Plus or Medicaid.

“The first 75 people who join us will be given a free blue shirt to wear and help us create the first ever human blue ribbon while Mayor Ernest Wheeler proclaims March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month,” added Handville. “There will be free refreshments and a drawing for two fishing poles for everyone that attends. In addition, each community member that completes their colorectal cancer screening kit will be given a $10 gift card to a local bait shop or hardware store. Our goal is to provide free screenings to the uninsured and awareness to the insured.”

For more information, call Handville at 315-342-0888, ext. 1455.

Or visit www.oco.org

OCO Guardian Angel Considers Its OPTIONS

FULTON, NY: The honorary head pin for Oswego County Opportunities’ upcoming Bowl-A-Fun, the Pink Guardian Angel, uncovered one of the many benefits that OCO’s Youth Services provides when it visited members of OCO’s OPTIONS program.

The OPTIONS program promotes well being for Oswego County teens who are pregnant or parenting.

The Pink Guardian Angel discovers what it is like to be a parent as it visits OCO’s OPTIONS Program. From left are case specialists Melissa Lamb and Aimee Goulette; OPTIONS AFL coordinator Linda Eagan; and program manager Christina Piscitelli.

The Pink Guardian Angel discovers what it is like to be a parent as it visits OCO’s OPTIONS Program. From left are case specialists Melissa Lamb and Aimee Goulette; OPTIONS AFL coordinator Linda Eagan; and program manager Christina Piscitelli.

Through education and advocacy, case workers ensure the health of the youth and the baby as they assist youth in obtaining services from other agencies, provide supportive counseling to assist their transition to parenthood, and help them grow personally as they help them develop parenting skills.

“We offer them the tools they need to succeed as a parent,” said Christine Piscitelli, program manager with OCO’s OPTIONS. “It’s more than just teaching them parenting skills. We offer monthly group meetings where they have the opportunity to meet other parenting teens and their children, discuss parenting issues with peers, learn educational and life skills, and learn valuable information on a number of pertinent topics from a variety of guest speakers.”

Thanks to the procurement of a grant from the Adolescent Family Life Program, OCO’s OPTIONS program has recently expanded, adding four additional case specialists and a coordinator.

The expansion is allowing OPTIONS to serve even more Oswego County youth.

OPTIONS coordinator Linda Eagan is pleased with the positive effect the expansion is having on the program.

“We are now able to provide services to three times as many pregnant teens and have been given the opportunity to strongly impact the field. While our program continues to look and feel very much like a the traditional OPTIONS program, we will be working closely with SUNY Oswego researchers Dr. Jackie Reihman and Dr. Edward Lonky to rigorously evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Based upon our success, the OPTIONS program will be replicated by other agencies throughout the country. It is a very exciting time for ourselves and the many youth that we serve,” said Eagan.

The Pink Guardian Angel is visiting various OCO sites throughout Oswego County as it reminds community members about OCO’s 10th annual Bowl-A-Fun and the announcement of the winner of the Golden Opportunities raffle that will take place on April 2 at Lakeview Lanes.

For more information, visit www.oco.org

OCO Cancer Services Brings Awareness Program to Pulaski

PULASKI, NY – In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Jefferson Street in Pulaski has “Gone Blue.”

Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program has partnered with NYS Department of Health Cancer Services Program to bring the “Main Streets Go Blue” campaign to Oswego County.

With blue being the universally recognized color for colorectal cancer “Main Streets Go Blue” is a campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, the number two cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.

Peggy Francher, owner of Bridget Street Carpets in Pulaski and Katie Batchelor, assistant with OCO’s Cancer Services Program, display the items OCO has provided merchants along Jefferson Street to distribute to their customers.

Peggy Francher, owner of Bridget Street Carpets in Pulaski and Katie Batchelor, assistant with OCO’s Cancer Services Program, display the items OCO has provided merchants along Jefferson Street to distribute to their customers.

Coordinator of OCO’s Cancer Services Program, Carolyn Handville is pleased to be able to bring this campaign to Oswego County.

“Colorectal cancer is a deadly disease, but it is preventable, treatable and beatable! According to statistics from the NYS Cancer Services Program, one in 19 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and only half of insured adults age 50 – 75 are up to date with their colorectal screening, for the uninsured that number is only 36%. Our goal is to make people talk as openly about colorectal cancer as they do breast cancer. We want to inspire them to receive their test and encourage their loved ones to have theirs as well,” said Handville.

Throughout the month, 14 merchants along Jefferson Street in Pulaski are proudly displaying their ‘Blue Decal’ to let the community know that they have gone blue.

They also have information available on colorectal cancer and the free screenings that OCO’s Cancer Services Program offers to those age 50 and older who are uninsured.

On March 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, the Cancer Services Program will join OCO’s Facilitated Enrollment Department at the Pulaski Fire Department to provide the community with an opportunity to pick up their free colorectal cancer screening kit and meet with an enroller to determine if they are eligible for Family Health Plus or Medicaid.

“We welcome residents in the Pulaski area and all of Oswego County to join us March 26 at the Pulaski Fire Department as we ‘Go Blue’ and raise awareness of colorectal cancer,” added Handville. “The first 75 people who join us will receive a free blue shirt to wear and create the first ever human blue ribbon while Mayor Ernest Wheeler proclaims March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.”

“There will be free refreshments and a drawing for two fishing poles for everyone that attends. In addition, each community member that completes their colorectal cancer screening kit will be given a $10 gift card to a local bait shop or hardware store,” she said.

For more information on the cancer screenings available through OCO’s Cancer Services Program, call 342-0888, ext. 1455.

A private, non-profit agency, OCO’s many programs touch the lives of more than 28,000 Oswego County residents each.

One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO employs more than 650 people and boasts a volunteer force of 1,000.

Now in its 45th year, OCO continues to build partnerships and is on a roll as it strives to improve the quality of life in Oswego County by helping people, supporting communities and changing lives.

For more information, visit www.oco.org

OCO Offers Free Cancer Screening Kits

OSWEGO, NY – In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, OCO, Inc’s Cancer Services Program urges men and women over age 50 to get screened for colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, excluding skin cancers, and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in New York. Approximately, 11,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year in New York, and 4,000 men and women die from the disease annually.

Program Assistant, Katie Batchelor (left) and Coordinator of Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program, Carolyn Handville, display one of the InSure Fecal Immunochemical Test kits for colorectal cancer that they are distributing in recognition of Colorectal Awareness Month.

Program Assistant, Katie Batchelor (left) and Coordinator of Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program, Carolyn Handville, display one of the InSure Fecal Immunochemical Test kits for colorectal cancer that they are distributing in recognition of Colorectal Awareness Month.

Colorectal cancer is the term used for cancers that start in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer often starts as a small growth called a polyp, long before symptoms appear. A polyp is a non-cancerous growth of tissue or tumor that grows before cancer develops. “Colorectal cancer screening tests can either find cancer early or prevent cancer by finding polyps before they turn into cancer,” said Carolyn Handville, coordinator of the Cancer Services Program.

The cancer affects both men and women, but the risk increases with age. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 90 percent of colon cancer cases occur in people aged 50 and older.

Some people are at greater risk for the disease than others, such as those with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, history of intestinal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, and people with a history of certain inherited diseases, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer can be prevented or detected early through regular screening. New Yorkers can lower their risk of developing colorectal cancer by:

  • Getting screened. Begin regular screening at age 50. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your health care provider about getting screened before age 50.
  • Eating healthy. Enjoy a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains from breads, cereals, nuts, and beans.
  • Kicking the habit. If you use tobacco, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start.
  • Skipping alcohol. If you use alcohol, drink only in moderation. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.
  • Getting moving. Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing may help reduce your risk for colorectal cancer.

“Talking with your health care provider about screening is vital to preventing colorectal cancer,” added Handville. “Colorectal cancer is easily treated and often curable when detected early. The tests are often covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many health insurers.”

People who are uninsured should contact the Cancer Services Program of Oswego County to get a free colorectal cancer screening. Do not wait; call 315-342-0888 ext 1454 today to get your free at home screening kit.  All eligible participants that complete their screening will also receive a complimentary gift card from the Cancer Services Program.

For more information, visit www.oco.org

Dozens Lose Their Hair To Fight Childhood Cancer

OSWEGO, NY – It took Emily Bradshaw nearly her entire life to grow her long brown hair. It took only a few moments for the Kingsford fifth grader’s locks to be shaved off Monday evening.

However, Emily’s unselfish act will give other youngsters a fighting chance at life.

Emily Bradshaw gets her hair shaved off as one of her friends tries to get a closer look.

Emily Bradshaw gets her hair shaved off as one of her friends tries to get a closer look.

The 10-year-old was one of nearly 80 people taking part in the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation event in the food court of the Campus Center at SUNY Oswego.

She raised more than her goal of $3,555 to help kids who are suffering from childhood cancer. She had set a goal of $1,500.

Dozens of others also raised funds by volunteering to have their heads shaved at the event.

Taking part in the event were a group of Oswego firefighters, some members of the Oswego Minor Hockey Association, representatives from several SUNY Oswego sports teams, fraternities and sororities. They were joined by a myriad others, including cancer survivors and the principal of G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton.

Erik Cole and his Dream Big Foundation assisted the Oswego Minor Hockey Association with its St. Baldrick’s donation.

Erik Cole and his Dream Big Foundation assisted the Oswego Minor Hockey Association with its St. Baldrick’s donation.

“With my bald head, I’ll stand in solidarity with kids being treated for cancer. But that’s not the main reason.  Most important, I’m doing this to raise money for life-saving research,” she told Oswego County Today back in January when she embarked on her fundraising campaign.

She said she’s heartbroken over the many children who are suffering from childhood cancer and wants to help find a cure.

“She is super excited. She just keeps coming up with more perks for having no hair!” her mother, Jennifer, said Sunday night. “She has blown past her fundraising goal.”

Brian Buchanan, principal of G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton, helps the cause.

Brian Buchanan, principal of G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton, helps the cause.

After her long locks lay in clumps on the floor Monday night, Emily said she was “happy and relieved.”

“I am happy to do this; and relieved that it is finally over. I am glad I did this. It is for a good cause,” she explained. “I had a lot of support. Thank you everybody that helped me. Guys shave their heads and you don’t think a thing about. But for a girl to shave her head, that’s something different. But, bald is beautiful.”

She added she was glad there were some other girls who also had their heads shaved. It made her feel not so all alone, she noted.

Another Oswego youngster, Carson Colucci, is a St. Baldrick’s veteran.

This year he even convinced some of his minor hockey league team to join him.

Judy Reidy, a cancer survivor from Minetto, also took part in the St. Baldrick's fundraiser.

Judy Reidy, a cancer survivor from Minetto, also took part in the St. Baldrick's fundraiser.

“This is my third year. I raised about $1,200. Last year I did $2,500 and the year before about $1,300. I like to help others. I think it’s a cool event,” he said. “This year a bunch of my teammates came with me. It wasn’t hard to convince them. It’s for a good cause.”

The event even got a boost from the National Hockey League.

Erik Cole and his Dream Big Foundation assisted the OMHA with its St. Baldrick’s donation.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Cole recently celebrated his 600th game as a NHL player, according to Kevin Caraccioli. He began his hockey career as a member of the OMHA.

“In recognition of his milestone and to show his support for members of the OMHA taking part in this year’s St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser, the Erik Cole Dream Big Foundation is donating $600 to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation,” Caraccioli said.

“I am proud to partner with my fellow OMHA hockey players in contributing to such a worthy cause as St. Baldrick’s. I salute the youth hockey players for their community service and in raising awareness of cancer research for children,” Cole said in a prepared statement.

Members of SUNY Oswego's Women's Ice Hockey team pose for a photo with Emily Bradshaw in their locker room. The team supported Emily's fundraising efforts and presented her with an autographed hockey stick Monday night.

Members of SUNY Oswego's Women's Ice Hockey team pose for a photo with Emily Bradshaw in their locker room. The team supported Emily's fundraising efforts and presented her with an autographed hockey stick Monday night.

In previous years, Cole and other members of the Hurricanes organization have shaved their heads to raise money for this cause.

For more information on the Dream Big Foundation, visit ecdreambig.com or visit it on Facebook.

Emily’s brother took part in the event last year. This year, he helped out as a volunteer.

“He said he didn’t want to steal Emily’s thunder,” their mother said.

Judy Reidy of Minetto is a cancer survivor.

“It was an uplifting experience,” she said of taking part in the event. “I encourage everyone to do this. It’s a little cool when you go outside.”

Roles reversed. Chris Pike shaves the head of barber Doug Kells. Poke has taken part in the St, Baldrick's event for four year. Monday was the first time he shaved anybody. He did a good job, Kells said.

Roles reversed. Chris Pike shaves the head of barber Doug Kells. Pike has taken part in the St, Baldrick's event for four year. Monday was the first time he shaved anybody. He did a good job, Kells said.

Brian Buchanan, principal of G. Ray Bodley High School said he wanted to do his part to help out.

“I decided this was something that I wanted to do. I raised about $150,” he said.

No one, directly in his family has been touched by cancer.

“But there are a couple of our students that are affected by cancer. As a principal, there’s not really much that I can do for them. But, this is one thing that I can do and help fight cancer. It’s a great cause. And, best of all – a great haircut,” he said.

“When my aunt lost her hair during her chemo treatments, I still thought she was beautiful. I am confident in who I am, with or without hair,” Emily said, adding that when she goes to school Tuesday “everyone will be glad I did this and very supportive. My whole class supported me.”

She also got support from the Lakers Women’s Ice Hockey team. The team turned out Monday night to cheer her on.

Members of the Oswego Fire Department took part in the event and also donated to the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Members of the Oswego Fire Department took part in the event and also donated to the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

“It was great. The whole entire Laker girls’ hockey team was here for me. They all signed a hockey stick for me,” she said.

To see her donor names, fundraising progress and before and after photos, visit her page on the St. Baldrick’s website – www.stbaldricks.org

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

In 2010 alone, they gave more than $14 million – that’s more in grants for childhood cancer research than any other organization except the U.S. government.

Locally, they raised $27,000. They hope to top that number this year. Organizers say they were close to $20,000 by Monday evening with more money coming in prior to the head shaving. The fundraising didn’t stop Monday.
For more information, visit www.StBaldricks.org

10-Year-Old Oswego Girl Nearing Baldrick Goal

OSWEGO, NY – A 10-year-old Oswego girl is nearing her goal to help fight against childhood cancer.

Emily Bradshaw said things are going great with fundraising for St. Baldrick’s.

Emily Bradshaw and Amy Lear, owner of Man in the Moon Candies, display the winning raffle ticket. Liz Cannady won the dozen chocolate roses. Emily raised $174 with the raffle.

Emily Bradshaw and Amy Lear, owner of Man in the Moon Candies, display the winning raffle ticket. Liz Cannady won the dozen chocolate roses. Emily raised $174 with the raffle.

The fifth grader at Kingsford Park Elementary is going to have her head shaved as part of a benefit to raise funds to help kids who are suffering from childhood cancer.

The St. Baldrick’s Head-Shaving event will take place Feb. 28 at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center at 7 p.m.

The event is being held to raise funds for life-saving childhood cancer research; a cause that Emily said is very near to her heart.

“I lost my godmother to cancer. My aunt is battling cancer right now. I know the pain of losing someone to cancer and I don’t want any more families to go through that,” she told Oswego County Today.com recently. “If shaving off my hair can help find a cure, then of course I will do it.”

Shavees are still needed, Emily noted.

Those interested still have time to sign up online to participate and then raise money by having friends and family sponsor them to “Brave the Shave.”

Emily has raised a little more than $1,000 between online donations and donations that have been mailed to her.

“She is getting closer to her $1,500 goal, but still has a ways to go,” said her mother, Jennifer.

The youngster recently held a raffle for a dozen chocolate rose, donated by Man in the Moon Candies of Oswego.

Last Friday afternoon, they drew the winning ticket. Liz Cannady won the dozen chocolate roses, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The event raised $174 for Emily’s cause.

To see her donor names, fundraising progress and before and after photos, visit her page on the St. Baldrick’s website – www.stbaldricks.org

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

Donors can give directly online (search for Emily Bradshaw, at www.StBaldricks.org); by phone (888-899-BALD) or you can mail it to Emily at 112 Ellen St., Oswego, NY 13126.

10-Year-Old To Shave Head To Fight Cancer

OSWEGO, NY – Recently, 10-year-old Emily Bradshaw sent an email to all her friends.

Emily Bradshaw

Emily Bradshaw

While there really isn’t anything uncommon about that – the content of the email was far from the pedestrian communications shared by fifth graders every day.

Emily will be participating in the St. Baldrick’s Day observance on Feb. 28 at SUNY Oswego.

“Hi everyone! I’m going to do something pretty extreme and I’m asking for your support. I’m going to have my head shaved at a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event on Feb 28 at SUNY Oswego,” she told her friends. “With my bald head, I’ll stand in solidarity with kids being treated for cancer. But that’s not the main reason.  Most important, I’m doing this to raise money for life-saving research.”

“I know the pain of losing someone to cancer and I don’t want any more families to go through that. If shaving off my hair can help find a cure, then of course I will do it. I am not afraid to be bald. My hair does not make me who I am, it is just an accessory. If people tease me or laugh, it won’t bother me because I will know I am a beautiful person for doing this event.”Emily Bradshaw

“That’s right, I’m shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s Day!” she told Oswego County Today. “It breaks my heart to know how many kids are suffering from childhood cancer. I want to help find a cure! I may be small, I am only 10 years old, but my sacrifice can make a mighty difference in helping to find a cure!”

Is she nervous about being a girl with a bald head?

“NO!” she exclaimed. “When my aunt lost her hair during her chemo treatments, I still thought she was beautiful. I am confident in who I am, with or without hair.”

Emily has set a goal to raise $1,500.

To see her donor names, fundraising progress and before and after photos, visit her page on the St. Baldrick’s website – www.stbaldricks.org

She found out about the event last year when her brother participated.

“So then I got online and started reading some of the kids’ personal stories. Some of the stories were so sad that it made me want to do the event. After reading the stories, I thought that it’s not fair that kids have to suffer from childhood cancer,” she explained.

One story was about a 3-year-old that ended up not being able to survive the fight against cancer and died.

“I thought that these kids could be so kind, but end up dying. So I want to do the event because I want to help find a cure for childhood cancer,” she said. “Plus, I have lost my godmother to cancer and my aunt is battling cancer right now. I know the pain of losing someone to cancer and I don’t want any more families to go through that. If shaving off my hair can help find a cure, then of course I will do it. I am not afraid to be bald. My hair does not make me who I am, it is just an accessory. If people tease me or laugh, it won’t bother me because I will know I am a beautiful person for doing this event.”

Emily is a student in Miss Lewis’ class at Kingsford Park Elementary School.

She plays basketball and lacrosse.

“I enjoy riding my bike and I love to draw and make greeting cards,” she said. “And, my dad is teaching me how to play golf.”

This Friday (Jan. 28), the KPS Home and School Association is hosting a hat day to sponsor Emily for St. Baldrick’s Day.

Emily also wants to thank Man in the Moon Candies for supporting her.

On Wednesday, Man in the Moon Candies donated a dozen long-stem chocolate roses that Emily will be raffling off for Valentine’s Day.

All of the proceeds will be donated to St. Baldrick’s to sponsor Emily.

“Emily is shaving her head – bald – to raise money for childhood cancer research. This is an incredibly brave act for a young girl to do, face all her friends and schoolmates bald!” her mother, Jennifer said. “Not many girls participate in this event, especially ones that are in elementary school. Emily has lost her godmother to cancer and her aunt is currently battling cancer now. So Emily feels very passionate about doing whatever she can to help find a cure.”

People can count on their donations being used responsibly, Emily and her mother stressed.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

In 2010 alone, they gave more than $14 million – that’s more in grants for childhood cancer research than any other organization except the U.S. government.

“And all because nearly 38,000 people shaved their heads,” Emily’s mother added.

“I am getting my tonsils out on Feb 14, but I won’t let that slow me down for too long,” Emily said. “I really hope I raise a lot of money for shaving my head! My mom and I think it will take about two years for my hair to grow back to where it is now. I don’t think I will keep it short; I will grow it out again.”

Donors can give directly online (search for Emily Bradshaw, at www.StBaldricks.org ) or by phone (888-899-BALD).

Credit cards are the most efficient way to give, or you can write a check payable to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“I am just so proud of her! Can you believe she is only 10 years old? What an amazing young lady. We greatly appreciate all the support,” her mother said.

“I’ll be collecting pledges or you can mail it to me at 112 Ellen St., Oswego, NY 13126,” Emily said. “On behalf of some very special kids, thank you for your support!”

OCO Is ‘On A Roll!’

FULTON, NY – In 2011 Oswego County Opportunities will celebrate its 45th anniversary.

As part of that celebration OCO has begun promoting its 2011 fund-raising campaign, “OCO On A Roll.”

The honorary head pin for OCO’s Annual Bowl-a-Fun, “The Pink Guardian Angel,” visited OCO’S Senior Dining & Activity site in the Fulton Municipal Building. From left are:  volunteer Meals On Wheels driver Kim Todd; Chris Sturgis, consumer; and Chris Parks, volunteer coordinator for OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services.

The honorary head pin for OCO’s Annual Bowl-a-Fun, “The Pink Guardian Angel,” visited OCO’S Senior Dining & Activity site in the Fulton Municipal Building. From left are: volunteer Meals On Wheels driver Kim Todd; Chris Sturgis, consumer; and Chris Parks, volunteer coordinator for OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services.

Several activities have been planned for the year, including the popular Bowl-A-Fun and Golden Opportunities raffle – both taking place on April 2.

The first stage of the campaign, “Change for Change,” ended in January when several creatively decorated bowling pin banks returned to OCO from holiday visits to businesses all over Oswego County.

One of those bowling pins was chosen by popular vote to serve as OCO’s “Head Pin” mascot for 2011: The Pink Guardian Angel Pin submitted by the Cancer Services Program Partnership.

Designed by program coordinator Carolyn Handville and her daughter, Cheyanne, it was a creative salute to a past OCO employee Nancy St. Onge who lost her own battle with breast cancer in October of last year.

After her diagnosis, Nancy became a strong advocate for the CSPP and the need for cancer screenings.

The “Head Pin” will be making weekly visits to OCO sites now through the end of March to spotlight the diversity of programs and services available throughout the county.

The first stop took place at the Fulton Senior Dining and Activity Center.

Located in the Fulton Municipal Building on South First Street, OCO’s Senior Dining and Activity Center offers social activities and a hot, nutritious lunch for adults age 60 and above in the greater Fulton area Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We are excited about our ‘OCO On A Roll’ campaign and having our ‘Head Pin’ make weekly visits to our many sites to help raise awareness of our annual Bowl-A-Fun, OCO On A Roll, Striking Back Against Poverty, which will be held April 2 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton,” said OCO executive director Diane Cooper-Currier.

“Our ‘OCO On A Roll’ campaign is aptly named as OCO is on a roll helping people, supporting communities and changing lives in Oswego County. OCO provides a wide array of services ranging from prenatal care, to counseling for teens to delivering meals to home-bound seniors. We serve more than 28,000 consumers each year, and our more than 660 employees and 1,200 volunteers are devoted to helping lift people out of poverty. We truly appreciate the support we receive from community members and are happy to ensure them that their donations to OCO stay right here to help people in our community,” added Cooper-Currier.

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