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University of Missouri Health Care News Releases
First-ever head-shaving event to raise funds for childhood cancer research

February 7, 2011                                                                       Contact: Matt Splett
                                                                                                      Media Coordinator
                                                                                                      splettm@health.missouri.edu 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    (573) 882-5663

COLUMBIA, Mo. — MU Children’s Hospital physician Thomas Loew, M.D., has spent his career making kids go bald. Now the tables are turned, and Loew plans to shave his head to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Thomas Loew, M.D.

Loew, director of the division of hematology and oncology at MU Children’s Hospital, will join the mother of a pediatric cancer patient and other local participants in shaving their heads to support childhood cancer research at the first-ever Conquer Kids’ Cancer! event, scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Columbia Knights of Columbus Hall, 2525 N. Stadium Blvd.

The event is sponsored by MU Children’s Hospital, along with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for promising research to find cures for childhood cancer. The head-shaving volunteers are seeking donations in support of pediatric cancer patients.

To make a donation, volunteer to shave your head or volunteer at the event, please visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mizzou or contact Ryan Matthews at (314) 724-5755.

Loew, who once previously shaved his head to raise money for pediatric cancer research, says while the lack of hair may leave his head cold, the satisfaction gained from helping cancer patients is gratifying.

“Losing one’s hair during cancer treatments can be a very difficult experience —especially for a child,” said Loew. “But as I tell my patients ‘bald is beautiful,’ and I’m proud to be leading by example in supporting my patients and the potential research that may one day cure cancer.”

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation recently awarded a grant of $25,848 to MU Children’s Hospital. The grant will provide resources to make more research possible and treat more kids through clinical trials, the best hope for a cure.

MU Children’s Hospital was one of 25 institutions to receive funding as part of the foundation’s fall grants, which totaled more than $1.3 million.

“The grant will allow us to increase and improve services to children in our area diagnosed with cancer, especially minorities,” said Loew. “The grant also provides educational opportunities for our personnel involved in the oncology program and increases our data management support capabilities. The support will provide a significant stepping stone for our program to continue our current expansion to better serve the needs of our patients and families.”

Worldwide, 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, and cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. With only three percent of all federal cancer research funding dedicated to pediatric cancer research, St. Baldrick’s grant awards are critical to continuing the battle against this devastating disease.




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