Lubbock, TX (KCBD)- Lubbockites gathered at Focal Pointe Fellowship by the dozens Saturday to "brave the shave" and raise awareness for childhood cancer research.
"Childhood cancer is the number one cause of death in children, outside of accidents, in developing countries like the United States" said Dr. Patrick Reynolds, director of Texas Tech's Cancer Center.
Reynolds spends his life fighting to find a cure for cancer in children like Torrance McClead.
"Torrance has been a cancer patient since she was eighteen months old," said Traci McClead, Torrance's mother. "She's seven years old and she has a brain tumor."
"It's been, I think, thirty years since a new drug has been produced for childhood cancer" McClead said.
She explained that researchers and doctors are very focused on cancer, but child cancer is a very specific branch. According to McClead, doctors develop treatments for adult cancers and then give them to children hoping for a positive effect. Torrance has also undergone clinical trials with no success. She has undergone chemotherapy and lost her hair for the fourth time.
But, her mother says, "she rocks the bald head very proudly! But she doesn't have the choice. She doesn't have the opportunity to say I'm going to shave my head"
"Research that is supported by organizations like St. Baldricks will find new cures, new drugs, and new ways to treat these children so that they can grow up and live productive lives," Reynolds said.
Dozens of people sat for a shave Saturday, some even saying goodbye to their eyebrows and facial hair.
"I love that there are actual adults out there that are willing to shave their heads and show their support for children," McClead said.
McClead said the family will never give up on finding a cure for their little girl, and they appreciated the Lubbock community's support.
"These brave men and women that come out here and shave their heads and say were going to stand behind you and support you ... make me very proud," McClead said with a smile.
They hope to raise around $5,000 for childhood cancer research. To donate, call St. Baldricks at (888) 899-BALD (2253) or donate online at http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/fpf2011.
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