Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) shaved his head today as part of St. Baldrick’s week, joining fraternity students from The College of New Jersey to raise awareness for childhood cancer research.
“Every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with pediatric cancer. While hundreds of millions of dollars are raised to combat cancer in adults, pediatric cancer research is grossly underfunded,” said Gusciora.
The head-shaving, pictures of which are included, took place at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, where Gusciora is an adjunct professor.
Gusciora was initially approached by a group of students who organize an annual fundraising effort to benefit the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation, which works to support research grants, scholarship awards, and infrastructure that help local institutions treat more children with clinical trials on the cutting-edge of cancer treatment.
Last year, the Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity and community members raised $23,000 dollars for the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation. This year, they have set their goal at $30,000. With a quickly-approaching deadline, the Assemblyman hopes to spur donations and raise awareness for the cause.
In 2014, as a result of research supported by St. Baldrick’s, the FDA approved a new drug that drastically increased the cure rate for high-risk neuroblastoma patients. It is the third approved drug in 20 years made specifically for children with cancer.
“We need to support efforts that aggressively pursue effective treatments and cures for pediatric cancers,” Gusciora concluded. “Every child deserves a chance to live a full, healthy life.”
Donations can be made to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation at: https://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/913086/2017.