Marshfield prepares to ‘Brave the Shave’
Local event set to raise funds for childhood cancer research
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — It would seem everyone is in favor of increasing research funding for childhood cancer, but Dave Krause has a more personal motivation than most on the matter.
Dave’s son William was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was about 3 ½ years old and endured over three years of chemotherapy.
“We told (William) his blood is sick and he’s going to need treatment, … and he understood that,” Dave said.
William is now in remission at 7 years old. His last chemotherapy treatment was in May 2015, but the Krause family still endures nerve-racking checkups every month to make sure he stays on the healthy track.
One thing that came to Dave’s attention during William’s ordeal was what he called an “inequality of research funding” for childhood cancer compared to other forms of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease past infancy among U.S. children.”
That is why Dave, his wife Becky, and others are organizing “Brave the Shave,” a local event benefitting St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which is dedicated to raising research funds to find cures for childhood cancer. In 2015 St. Baldrick’s raised almost $37 million for childhood cancer research, but Dave said that is not nearly enough.
The event allows individuals to volunteer to have their heads shaved — a symbolic nod to those who often lose their hair going through cancer treatment — and people can sponsor those who decide to “Brave the Shave.”
Dave said going through the experience of William’s illness has changed his and Becky’s perspective.
“Is a trip out west (as a family) more important than a softball game?” Dave said is the type of question his family now considers in light of what they went through with William. “And it is, you know, our priorities I think are much more as a family. … We unfortunately know families that have lost their kids, and I don’t know how they overcome that.”
When William started to lose his hair during treatment, his younger brother Benjamin and Dave both shaved their heads.
“I let the kids shave my head. Just so they’re not alone in a sense, I think, is part of it,” Dave said.
The Krauses also started a fund through Marshfield Clinic that helps families who have children with cancer and are in a difficult financial situation. Dave noted that Marshfield Clinic is one of the recipients of funds raised through St. Baldrick’s events.
“Brave the Shave” will be March 6 from 2-6 p.m. at the Marshfield Eagles Club, 1104 S. Oak Ave. To sponsor a local person who will be shaving his or her head or to sign up to be a “shavee,” go to stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/12269/2016.
As of Feb. 15, the Marshfield St. Baldrick’s event had raised $4,130 of a $15,000 goal. Donations are also accepted at the event.