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Childhood Cancer Survivor ‘Starts Bald, Ends Bald’ to Help Cure Cancer

OHSU Doernbecher patient Jack Altenhofen will shave his head in solidarity with other childhood cancer patients, survivors as part of annual St. Baldrick’s Day fundraising events

 WHAT:    Each year nurses, physicians and staff at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute shave their heads in support of children with cancer as part of the annual St. Baldrick’s Day celebration.

This year childhood leukemia survivor Jack Altenhofen, 19, of Beaverton, Ore., is going bald for kids with cancer, as well.

“I finished my last dose of chemotherapy April 20 and I thought this was a fitting way to commemorate the closing of this chapter in my life. I started my cancer treatment bald and I should end it bald. No child should ever have to go through what I went through, and the money St. Baldrick’s raises goes directly to helping fund life-saving research,” Jack said.

Jack recently finished nearly 3 ½ years of chemotherapy at OHSU Doernbecher. His St. Baldricks’ fundraising goal is $5,000; so far he’s raised $1760.

“This is a fun-filled event and an important opportunity to support pediatric cancer research and training,” said Linda Stork, M.D., Jack’s oncologist and head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at OHSU Doernbecher, and member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.
“We are indebted to Jack and all the shavees for all the vital money they raise.”

Among the OHSU Doernbecher nurses, physicians, staff planning to shave their heads are:
•    Gretchen Barron, R.N., pediatric hematology/oncology
•    Nora Bowcutt, C.N.A., pediatric hematology/oncology
•    Jason Glover, M.D., resident in pediatrics
•    Linda Harvey, R.N., pediatric hematology/oncology
•    Melissa Presto-Moren, R.N., pediatric hematology/oncology
•    Henry Puls, M.D., resident in pediatrics
•    Erika Crawford, R.N., pediatric hematology/oncology

WHEN:    Sunday, May 2, 1 p.m.

WHERE:    Oaks Park Dance Pavilion, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202

DETAILS:    In 2009, St. Baldrick’s funded more than $12 million in childhood cancer research grants, and Among the grant recipients is OHSU Doernbecher’s Bill Chang, M.D., Ph.D., who received a three-year career development award to continue his lab-based research.  In past years, St. Baldrick’s has funded fellowship training at OHSU Doernbecher.

About St. Baldrick’s (
St. Baldrick’s Day is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Thousands of volunteers around the world shave their heads in solidarity with children fighting cancer, requesting donations of support from friends and family.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation today funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Since 2000, events have taken place in 24 countries and 50 US states, raising more than $74 million. More than 130,000 volunteers — including more than 10,000 women — have shaved their heads in solidarity of children with cancer, while requesting donations of support from friends and family.

St. Baldrick’s began as a casual conversation between friends and has exploded into the world’s biggest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer. In nine years, events have taken place in 18 countries and 48 US states, raising more than $50 million, and shaving more than 72,000 heads. Volunteers of all ages gather pledges toward the shaving of their heads. They are shorn on St. Baldrick’s day to show support for children undergoing cancer treatment.

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