How a Close Shave Can Benefit Childhood Cancer Canada

Smiling Over Sickness, a non-profit student-run organization that directs community volunteerism and student energy with the goal of contributing to the lives of sick children fighting cancer, continues their fundraising intuitive Shave for a Cure. The event, now in its 14th year, has volunteers shave their heads to raise money and awareness for Childhood Cancer Canada.

Last year, with the help of various local organizations, corporations, businesses and community members, this event raised well over $25,000. This year, they hope to maintain this support and to further community involvement to surpass last year’s total.

The Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation says “childhood cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for children in Canada, yet only 4% of cancer research funding is dedicated towards children’s cancers. With more than 10,000 children battling cancer in Canada, Canadians and all residents need to be aware of this sad reality and realize that with our help we can help to have more funding for research, and better treatments. Such treatments should seek that these are less toxic and leave fewer sequels in the medium and long term in children who survive this disease”.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada:

“Among Canadian children leukemia is the most commonly occurring type of cancer (33%), followed by brain and nervous system cancers (20%) and lymphomas (11%). Little is known about what causes childhood cancer which limits the opportunities for prevention. Some established risk factors include exposure to ionizing radiation, exposure to diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy, and certain genetic conditions such as Down's syndrome. However, these risk factors account for only a small percentage of cases”.


“Several studies are examining suspected or possible risk factors for childhood cancers, including infections during childhood; parental, fetal, or childhood exposures to environmental toxins such as pesticides, solvents, or other household chemicals; parental occupational exposures to radiation or chemicals; maternal diet during pregnancy; early postnatal feeding patterns and diet; and maternal reproductive history.”

Not only could you help by donating your hair. You can contribute by joying other charity occasions that support families and small cancer fighters. Nowadays, there are several ways to donate even a small amount. Any amount is a big help to save hundreds of children.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has pointed out that “treatment for childhood cancer is available at 17 pediatric cancer centres across Canada. Canada, approximately 80% of children living with cancer are either enrolled in a clinical trial or receiving treatment according to a registered protocol. Children are most commonly treated with intensive multimodal therapy: a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery”.

Do not miss this event. Remember that University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine annual Shave for a Cure Event is happening this year on Monday, May 8th from 4:30 at the Atrium of Roger Guindon Hall, located at 451 Smyth Road. At the event, they will have food, games, silent auctions, music, and activities leading up to the shave!All of us should be excited to bring together students, faculty, and families together to support the brave people who are cutting their hair to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Spread the word to friends, family, your CHEO buddies, to raise funds for this fantastic cause.