Bald for a cause: Falls girl sacrifices locks for cancer research

by Verla Peichl Review Correspondent


SUMMER STROESSNER of Sheboygan Falls is pictured with her friend, Scarlet, a shavee from October, before the St. Baldrick Foundation head shaving event to support childhood cancer research Saturday, Feb. 8, at Odyssey Fun Center in Sheboygan Falls. — Falls News photo by Verla Peichl SUMMER STROESSNER of Sheboygan Falls is pictured with her friend, Scarlet, a shavee from October, before the St. Baldrick Foundation head shaving event to support childhood cancer research Saturday, Feb. 8, at Odyssey Fun Center in Sheboygan Falls. — Falls News photo by Verla Peichl Summer Jean Stroessner of Sheboygan Falls decided to join the St. Baldrick’s head shaving team in 2013.

The 9-year-old Sheboygan Falls Elementary School student is not just talking or thinking about it either.

On Saturday, Feb. 8, she followed through with her desire to help fight childhood cancer by shaving her head for the St. Baldrick Foundation at Odyssey Fun Center in Sheboygan Falls.

Most young girls think about school, clothes and how their hair looks.

Stroessner also thinks about all of those things, but something happened last year to change her perspective on what is really important.

Scarlett Albright, a friend and classmate of hers at the Sheboygan Falls Elementary School, participated in the 2013 St. Baldrick’s head shaving event.

After Stroessner learned what the full reasoning was behind the event, she couldn’t stop thinking about it.

“I heard about St. Baldrick’s from my friend, Scarlet, when she shaved her head last year in October,” said Stroessner. “I was there watching and I couldn’t help but think that she was putting herself out there to help childhood cancer and because of that I decided to do it.

“So, I asked my mom if I could do it,” said Stroessner, “She said, ‘Sure, let’s start raising money and find a person.’”

From there, Stroessner took the St. Baldrick challenge head on.

“I started reading about children that have cancer and we found a little girl, Amanda,” said Stroessner. “She is 4 years old. I don’t know what type of cancer she has, but she does have cancer and the information about her cancer made me want to raise money to help her childhood disease.

“I started to think about this last November and this is when I learned about Amanda,” said Stroessner, “That’s when I started raising money. I was excited about shaving my head because I wanted to help childhood cancer. I will miss my hair, but excited at the same time to be able to help.”

More children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease. Before reaching the age of 20, about 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will be diagnosed with cancer.

Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes.

In the 1950s, almost all kids diagnosed with cancer died. Because of research, today about 85 percent of kids with the most common type of cancer will live.

But for many other types, progress has been limited. For some kids, there is still little hope for a cure.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds every stage in the process.

When giving to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you don’t just give to one institution, your money impacts children who are being treated at more than 215 children’s hospitals throughout the United States.

The event at Odyssey Fun Center was big for Stroessner.

Her mother’s friend, Jodi Lamers and her Aunt Tabitha Roethel also participated, as well as Audrey Daul, 10-year-old Alex Coniff of Green Bay and Anastasia King.

Local beauticians Ashley Schmidt of Bath and Body Works at the Sheboygan Memorial Mall, Emily Schwarten, owner of Nevaeh Salon n Beyond located on Kohler Memorial Drive and Tammy Schwochert of Merge Salon and Spa in Plymouth measured the hair and cut the lengths that are accepted by Locks of Love.

That meant that some of the participants were donating not only monetary gifts, but the gift of their hair to be made into wigs as well.

This group of young people not only demonstrated courage in this cause, but before the raffles even began they had raised $7,700 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

To learn more about the St. Baldrick Foundation or to make a donation to the cause, visit www.stbaldricks.org


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