Fight against cancer returning to Elizabeth High

St. Baldrick’s, tourney are opportunities to take stand against illness

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 2/17/20

Every two minutes, a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer, and in the United States, more children are lost to cancer than to any other disease. That’s according to the St. …

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Fight against cancer returning to Elizabeth High

St. Baldrick’s, tourney are opportunities to take stand against illness

Posted

Every two minutes, a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer, and in the United States, more children are lost to cancer than to any other disease. That’s according to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps raise money for research and awareness of childhood cancer. The organization started holding St. Baldrick’s events in 1999, which involves people donating money and supporters shaving their heads to raise funds.

Sadly, Elizabeth High School has had their share of students diagnosed with the tragic disease over the last few years. The first St. Baldrick’s event at Elizabeth High took place in 2016, to raise money for Cheyenne, a 9-year-old who was diagnosed with cancer. Cheyenne’s grandmother, Dani Varela, works for the district and helped organize the event.

“We began hosting the St. Baldrick’s event in 2016, when my granddaughter was diagnosed with cancer,” said Varela. “Her parents were told to say their goodbyes, as they loaded Cheyenne up to Flight for Life her to Children’s Hospital in Aurora. They did not think she would survive the flight.”

That was more than three years ago, and today Cheyenne is cancer-free and still “fighting like a girl.”

Six years ago student Hunter Neelley was battling cancer, and Hunter’s Hope was started to help raise funds. Neelley lost his battle with cancer in 2014, and the name was changed to Hunter’s Legacy, and each year the organization holds a basketball tournament to continue raising money for students battling cancer.

Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be used to help student Shelby Martyniak, who is currently battling cancer.

Both the St. Baldrick’s event and Hunter’s Legacy Basketball Tournament will be held Feb. 28 at Elizabeth High School.

The St. Baldrick’s event will begin at 3:15 p.m. in the cafetorium. The goal this year is to raise $10,000 and shave 25 heads. Students, faculty members and community members are invited to attend, and can either have their heads shaved, make a donation, or just enjoy the festivities. Among those getting heads shaved at the event will be Elizabeth police officers.

If students raise $300, math teachers Mr. and Mrs. Zander will shave and/or cut their hair at the event. Cut hair will be donated to the Wigs for Kids program.

Hunter’s Legacy Basketball Tournament will begin at 6 p.m. in the gym. The cost for those who want to play in the tournament is $10, and audience members can get in for $5. All players must complete an activity release form, which need to be turned in to Varela at the school prior to the event. There will be a drawing for a Nuggets basketball signed by Nokola Jokie.

For more information, contact Varela at dvarela@esdk12.org.

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