PALM BAY, Florida — A team of eight members from Palm Bay Fire-Rescue, including two women and two chiefs, shaved their heads in the name of cancer research. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation held its annual head-shaving fundraiser in Viera Saturday and Palm Bay Fire-Rescue contributed nearly $5,000 and plenty of locks for the cause.
Firefighter and paramedic Cheryl Parente donated her 10-inch long ponytail and the rest of her blonde mane in the name of helping countless children afflicted with cancer who lose their hair in the treatment process. “It’s to be like them and to say it’s ok to be bald,” Parente said. “For me it’s a choice, for them it’s not. If this helps one child with cancer feel better, then it is more than worth it.”
Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Office Manager Terri Bowen also shaved her head for the cause. It is Bowen’s second year participating in the event. “This organization is dedicated to helping kids with cancer and I wanted to do this to show my support,” Bowen said. “I have five grandchildren and one great grandson and I couldn’t handle the thought of one of them having to suffer with cancer. Hopefully this will help fund additional research towards a cure.”
Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Chief Jim Stables joined the cause after witnessing it firsthand in 2011. “I was inspired by the show of solidarity,” Stables said. “I’m doing this because many adults and children out there don’t have a choice and I want to stand in solidarity with them. Maybe this can lead to more solutions and a cure.”
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. The Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.
VIDEO CREDIT: City of Palm Bay