Group shaves heads for pediatric cancer awareness

'Shave Flash Mob' planned for San Antonio on Sunday for childhood cancer research

SAN ANTONIO - On Sunday, more than 60 people from around the country and Canada who call themselves members of “45 Mommas Shave for the Brave" will gather at the Holiday Inn Downtown and participate a shaving flash mob.

The group chat online about about shaving their heads to raise funds and awareness for families struggling with pediatric cancer, then gather in a city to do it all at once.

This year’s “shave off” is being organized by Lisa Sanders, of Helotes, who lost her daughter Rayley to cancer seven years ago.

Sanders said, "My daughter's initial diagnosis gave her a 30 percent chance of survival, but because of her age, she had no chance. She couldn't have radiation."

That lack of options and dire diagnosis is one of the reason for the group 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave, so-named for the statistic that 46 families are told their child has cancer every weekday.

She will shave her head on Sunday for the fourth time.

Her 15-year-old stepson Jack Sanders will join her for his second shave.

Even though he never met Rayley, he thinks it’s important to show his support.

Sanders said, “If people my age don't start thinking they way I think, nothing's ever going to get done until we are all adults."

The family has struggled to move past the loss of Rayley, but they admit it’s difficult to not worry.

Lisa Sanders, who gave birth to daughter Lily 17 months ago, said, “We do know who have genetic components to the particular type of cancer she had, so when one of the older kids says they have a headache, the fear is immediate."

She calls the shave-off Sunday a healing moment, something she’s choosing to do in regard to cancer, as opposed to cancer doing whatever it wanted to her family.

The group has raised $1 million for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research since it began shaving a few years ago.

Event will run from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Arneson River Theatre, located at 418 Villita St.

For a list of recent stories Ursula Pari has done, click here.


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