ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) Since 1858 the St. Patrick’s Day parade has celebrated Irish culture, highlighting food, music and dance, but for some the parade has a deeper meaning.
“St. Baldrick is a play on bald and St. Patrick’s. We shave people's heads in solidarity with kids who lost their hair to chemo therapy," said Donald Flemming.
Fleming is one of four participants who decided to get the ultimate hair cut as a part of the St. Patrick’s day festivities.He has been a shavee for years, raising more $1.3 million. For him the sacrifice is personal.
“When my daughter was 22 months old we found that she had cancer. She endured 48 weeks of chemo therapy,” Flemming added.
He said the treatment cured his daughter Ciara.
“Right now I’m in remission for over 15 years which is amazing. And, the reason why I was cured is because of a clinical trial which is why my family is so passionate about cancer research," said Ciara.
Over the years the Fleming’s have organized many events and they say all of them do it with one thing in mind, raising money to fill cancer research deficits.
“Childhood cancer is ridiculously under funded, I believe they get four percent of federal cancer funding, which when you consider the childhood cancer research fundings can also apply to adult cancer it seems criminally under funded”, said Ciara.
Her dad said it’s important for him to pay it forward and raise funds for research to help others the same way his daughter was helped.
“If somebody hadn’t paid for the research that saved Ciara's life we would be a different family, so we feel it’s important to save children’s lives,” added Fleming.
To find out more about the St. Baldrick's Foundation click here.