Jennifer Moreno was having a bad day. But not just any bad day. The whiny, grumbling, how-can-anything-possibly-get-any-worse kind of bad day. Until she heard an ad on the radio about childhood cancer that helped put her life into perspective.
“Suddenly, my life and my problems didn’t seem so bad,” said Moreno, who shaved her head Saturday during a St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraising event at Ashley Furniture HomeStore. “I thought to myself, ‘This is something I can do.’”
More than 20 residents shaved their heads and collected pledges to help the volunteer-driven charity reach its goal of raising $10,000 to fund research for cures for childhood cancers.
Trevin Mayabb, a family and medicine resident physician at Scott & White, helped organize the event and was among the participants who shaved their heads.
“We take care of a lot of these kids daily in the hospital or in our outpatient clinics,” Mayabb said. “This is such a big deal for them. It’s everything in terms of who they are. It’s going to define a lot of them.”
The event also was a way for children who are being treated for cancer to be recognized and enjoy music, food and pumpkin carving.
Kelsey Schneider, 20, of Jarrell, was diagnosed with astrocytoma brain tumor when she was 11. After about a year, she entered remission, but the disease returned in February and her fight against the disease continues.
“I’ve been battling it for 10 years,” she said. “When I was first diagnosed with it, I was like ‘Oh my gosh.’”
But, with the love and support of her family and friends, and medicine from doctors to help fight the illness, Schneider faces the disease with courage.
“I see her and that keeps me strong,” said her mother, Sarah. “She’s my hero.”
Schneider, like many children affected by diseases, said her biggest hope is that doctors find a cure to all the different types of cancer.
She said it means a great deal to her to see the community rally behind her and raise money to support research.
“They’re supporting me and other kids that have cancer, so I think it’s a good deal,” she said.
Moreno, whose daughter is special needs, said she knows that there are many people out there who raise funds to help her autistic child.
“I don’t see any reason why I can’t go out and help raise money for other children,” she said.