St. Baldrick’s Raises Money for Childhood Cancer Research - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

St. Baldrick’s Raises Money for Childhood Cancer Research

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Walking around Charlottesville you might notice more than 100 people with newly shaved heads.

They sheared off their locks Thursday night for a good cause.

It was the St. Baldrick's annual fundraiser to raise money to help put a stop to cancer. More than 100 people went bald in the name of cancer research. 

Clippers were buzzing and hair was falling, all to raise money to cure childhood cancer – something Leigh Ann Blevins unfortunately knows too much about.

She lost her 9-year-old son Ethan to cancer last summer. Now she's shaving her head in his honor.

"He would be so proud we would have matching hairstyles. He would think it's awesome," Blevins said. 

About 120 people lined up to join her at The Biltmore. Those people have raised more than $80,000 to find a cure, $10,000 coming just from Blevins and her team alone.     

"We miss him like you would not believe. To find a cure means everything to us, everything," Blevins said. 

The cause is also near and dear to Colleen Mastrandea, whose daughter Nora was diagnosed with brain cancer last summer.     

"She's so strong and so brave and just incredible and I would do absolutely anything for her and any child with cancer," Mastrandea said. 

That includes shaving her head, a powerful act that brought tears to her daughter's eyes.  

"She was really looking forward to us looking more similar and I think that that will improve her self-image through doing this," Mastrandea said. 

They say through a simple gesture people can raise awareness, and make sure one day other people don't have to go through the same thing.     

"It is the most difficult journey a person, let alone a child, could go through and she's my inspiration; she's my rock," Mastrandea said. 

For both mothers it was a way to honor their children.     

"He bought me these earrings for my birthday last year and he said, ‘Mom, you shave your head next year, you need to bring those earrings.' So I did this to honor him," Blevins said.    

Blevins was actually Nora's teacher. Both mothers say having this support system is very important to them.

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