Shaving Heads to Fight Cancer

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- About two dozen people shaved their heads at the Brickhouse Sports Cafe in support of kids who are fighting cancer.

It was Huntsville's first Saint Baldrick's fundraiser.  The charity raises money to treat childhood cancer.  It started in 2000 with a few friends going bald on St. Patrick's Day.

They put the two terms together to create "Saint Baldrick."

Event coordinator Joe Matuella started participating several years ago.  In 2000, doctors  diagnosed his two-year-old son with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

"It was a scary time.  We had three and a half years of treatment in that time, he was in the hospital for about a year and a half," Matuella said.

Joe-Joe relapsed and began more treatment.  After five years, there was an experimental treatment procedure available, but Matuella said his insurance wouldn't cover the cost.

"St. Baldrick's funded it," Matuella said.  "In September, he was officially cancer free."

Since its inception, nearly 200,000 people shaved their heads for Saint Baldrick's, raising more than $100-million dollars.   Saturday's event raised more than $5,000.

Matuella said one participant let his grow for a year and raised $325 in three weeks.

"It's really emotional, it's exciting because that $1 that somebody might give could be one of the dollars that funded my son's cure or somebody else's cure, so it's really quite neat."

Cost Cutters Hair Salon did the cutting, and their owner had her head shaved as well.

Brickhouse plans to host another head shaving event for Saint Baldrick's next year.

St Baldrick's

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