Kosair Children's Hospital to host haircutting benefit for kids - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Kosair Children's Hospital to host haircutting benefit for kids with cancer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Having a child who has cancer is hard, but having a child who's had cancer twice is even harder, Gena Johnson explained with tears in her eyes. Her son Aiden has acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

What her family thought at one time was tonsillitis is now a diagnosis that has turned her family upside down. She can still hear the words, "your child has cancer." "I remember it, February 21 of 2007 and I remember it July 12 2012," she said almost as if it were yesterday.

She also remembered hearing the words that there would be no St. Baldricks this year in Louisville. With a 9-year-old fighting the disease, the announcement hit pretty close to home.

Johnson stresses slowly, "Very close, very close!"

Since 2000, St. Baldrick's Foundation volunteers have organized nearly 4,200 head shaving events and raised over $118 million for life-saving childhood cancer research with Louisville volunteers at the top of that list of fund raisers each year.

The big news is that Kentucky will still be shaving hundreds of heads and still raising millions of dollars to fund research to find cures for childhood cancer while being able to support local families fighting the disease.

"Raising funds nationally is wonderful. I'm all in support of that but I'm completely on board with keeping the money here locally," explained Johnson.

This year the city is invited to Chili's Clip for Kids. Every dollar raised will go directly to cancer care here at home at Kosair Children's Hospital. Local volunteers are so excited that even local Chili's restaurants are using their power to make the event a success.

Lynnie Meyer, Chief Development Officer of the Children's Hospital Foundation enthusiastically stressed, "Now we'd like to turn our attention to the local cause. We understand that Kentucky has higher than the national average percentage wise of childhood cancers. We also understand there's tremendous research work happening in our community."

Every day, Kosair Children's Hospital cares for kids with cancer. Their nationally ranked oncology staff fights alongside their youngest cancer patients and their families to provide care, hope and compassion.

This year at Clip for Kids, the research work and children who will benefit from the hard work and cold hard cash raised by families and volunteers, will be right here in our own backyard.

Meyers went on to say, "There's no doubt that this community is very serious and that people care so much about advancing to solve and care for issues of childhood cancer and to help survivorship."

There are no volunteers more dedicated than the mothers and fathers who fight the battle daily for and with their kids.

"It all takes money. None of this comes cheap trust me. None of it comes cheap," Johnson stressed. "Losing my hair is no big deal compared to what these kids go through and if I can raise money to make a difference for these kids and lose my hair I'll be bald for the rest of my life," she said again with tears falling from her eyes.

Kosiar Children's Hospital is hosting the first-ever Chili's Clip for Kids Sunday, May 18, 2014 at Fourth Street Live. The event challenges participants to raise funds in return for shaving, trimming or clipping their hair in solidarity with kids fighting cancer. 

You can set up your own online fundraising page at www.clipforkids.org or call 502-629-8060 for more information.

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