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