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GAFC employee loses hair for two good causes
Kathy McConnell lost her beautiful long hair recently—for two good causes.
McConnell, an employee at the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center, had her long locks removed and head shaved as part of the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser for childhood cancer. The head shaving took place at Kitty Hoynes Restaurant in downtown Syracuse on Sunday.
McConnell is not only raising money for St. Baldrick’s; she donated her hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit program that provides hairpieces to children fighting cancer and other medical conditions that have resulted in hair loss.
McConnell’s support of both programs comes from her own life experience with childhood cancer. Her youngest daughter, Bridget, was diagnosed at 18 months with hepatoblastoma, a form of liver cancer, just two years after her husband died of cancer a week after he was diagnosed.
With her mom and other family members by her side, Bridget received several courses of chemotherapy and underwent surgery at age 2. Many nights in the hospital, McConnell slept under her daughter’s crib. Related medical issues marked her early childhood years following the surgery, but today she is a healthy, cancer-free 21-year-old college student at Onondaga Community College.
McConnell learned about the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser last year when the priests at her church participated. “I thought to myself, what a way for me to give back,” she says. Bridget, she says, has been enthusiastically supportive of her mom’s participation and was the first one to make a donation.
McConnell says she is impressed with the St. Baldrick’s foundation because of its focus on and support of research on childhood cancers.
Donations can be made online at http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/participantid/371436. Checks, made payable to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, can be mailed to McConnell at 305 Blackmore Road, Camillus, NY 13031.