'46 Mommas' Go Bald to Raise Money for Pediatric Cancer Research
Indiana mom Allison Smith, who shaved in honor of her son Jackson, a brain tumor survivor. Photo by Connor Sumner.
When Maisy Yeager’s son, Zarek, was just 8 years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia. “It’s horrible, hearing the words ‘Your kid has cancer,’” Yaeger, a pharmaceutical biochemist from Massachusetts, told Yahoo Health. “It’s unimaginable, the dread of loss you feel.”
Luckily, Zarek is now cancer-free, making it through years of draining surgeries and steroid treatments that turned the family’s world upside down. But countless other children — nearly 2,000 a year, according to statistics from the National Cancer Institute — are not so lucky. It’s why Yeager and 45 other mothers from around the U.S. and Canada convened in Boston on Sunday to have their heads shaved bald in a public ceremony for the fifth annual 46 Mommas event — so-named to symbolize that each weekday of the year, 46 mothers in the U.S. are told that their child has cancer. This year, through pledged donations, the moms raised more than $200,000 for the national St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which fundraises for pediatric cancer research, adding to the $1.5 million the event has pulled in over the course of five years. After all, Yeager noted, “My kid survived because of research.”
The freshly bald mothers. Photo by Connor Sumner.