OSWEGO, NY – The only thing stronger than cancer quite possibly could be a mother’s love.
Kristi Thompson-Ross cut her hair in support of her son, Julian. The Kingsford Park Elementary School first grader is suffering from cancer and is spending a lot of time in a hospital bed.
The KPS Student Council and Home and School came together and raised enough money for an iPad for him. The special presentation was made just before Christmas by members of the KPS Student Council.
The youngster arrived at Thursday night’s St. Baldrick’s fundraiser at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center aboard an Oswego fire engine.
He said he wants to be a firefighter – or maybe a cop – when he grows up. The Oswego firefighters were helping coax him down the right career path.
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.
Dozens of people had their heads shaved Thursday to help raise funds to fight childhood cancer.
“I did it in support of Julian, simply because when he lost his hair it was really traumatic. He didn’t have a choice, I did. So it was in support of him,” his mom told Oswego County Today.
A lot of people have quietly asked her, “Do you have cancer?”
“No, I don’t. But my son does,” she replies. “It’s a big thing. It’s to show him there are people behind him.”
She said she didn’t want him to take part in the St. Baldrick’s event because he has more chemo treatments coming up and his hair will began to fall out again.
“We want him to keep his hair this time around, at least for a short time,” she said. “I will be keeping my head shaved until we are done with treatment.”
He could relapse really quickly, because his type of cancer has no cure.
“So we are all research based – St. Baldrick’s actually funds the hospitals we go to,” she said.
In 2010, they raised more than $27,000. Last year it was closer to $29,000. At about 6:30 Thursday night, the total was $57,997.
The Oswego City Fire Department’s members came in with more than $13,100. And, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office raised nearly $10,000. The unofficial total is likely in the mid-$60,000 range.
“We have raised more, a lot more, than we did last year,” said coordinator Dan Witmer. “Who knows what they are going to bring in tonight. They bring in checks and cash that they have already collected. It just absolutely snowballed this year. We are very grateful for all the support.”