More than 90 "shavees" stepped up to have their hair shaved off after raising money for pediatric cancer research underway at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Participants included members of the Sacramento Republic FC soccer team as well as UC Davis Health staff.

According to St. Baldrick's Foundation, every two minutes in this country, a family is given the devastating news that their child has cancer. One in 263 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer before they turn 20 years old.

Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance teams up with Supercuts and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center each year to organize the local St. Baldrick's event.

Marcio Malogolowkin receives check from Keaton’s Childhood Alliance at St. Baldrick’s event

Cancer care close to home

Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance is a nonprofit organization, based in Roseville, that provides financial, emotional, and educational assistance to families and children battling cancer, while building awareness and funding toward a cure.

This year, the organization presented a check to UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center for more than $113,000, which was raised from last year's Brave the Shave. Since it was created more than 20 years ago, Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance has donated nearly $2.5 million to the pediatric oncology program at the cancer center.

“This event is an example of UC Davis working with the community to improve the quality of care for children with cancer so that they don't have to leave the Sacramento region and their loved ones to seek treatment somewhere else,” said UC Davis Pediatric Hematology Oncology Chief Marcio Malogolowkin. He accepted the check from Jessica Alonso, executive director of Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance.

Malogolowkin said the generous contribution helps the cancer center offer National Cancer Institute-supported clinical trials, which enables UC Davis to find new ways to treat pediatric cancer patients.

“The money is also helping us launch a new bone marrow transplant program for kids at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center later this year,” Malogolowkin added.

“It is so important that we make sure that we are funding cancer research close to home, which is why we are pleased to contribute in a significant way to the incredible research work underway at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center,” Alonso said. “St. Baldrick’s is just one of the events we hold every year to generate funding to find a cure for childhood cancer.”

Keaton’s legacy lives on

In memory of their son Keaton who died from neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that starts in early nerve cells, Robyn and Kyle Raphael created the Keaton Raphael Memorial in 1998. It is now known as Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance, and Keaton’s legacy lives on as the organization continues to provide resources to young cancer patients and their families while fueling research projects to win the larger war.

“Childhood cancer impacts the whole family — in fact, one in four families lose more than 40% of their annual house hold income as a result of childhood cancer treatment-related work disrup tion,” Alonso said. “One in three families face other work disruptions, such as having to quit work or change jobs.”

Patients and siblings of children with cancer are also at risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic-stress disorder, Alonso added.

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