By KATHY CHANG
METUCHEN — The Saint Joseph High School community rallied around one of its own for its fourth annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event that raised $17,500.
Some 84 volunteers — teachers, students and friends and family — had their heads shaved by local professional barbers on Dec. 1 in honor of junior Matthew Hall, who is currently in treatment for Burkitt’s leukemia, which is a rare, fast-growing type of leukemia, a blood cancer.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, according to its website, is a volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research. It works closely with leading pediatric oncologists to determine the most promising research to fund and create funding priorities to make the greatest impact for children with cancer.
Worldwide, 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. In the United States, more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease.
Donations raised at events like the one at St. Joseph’s support the development of childhood cancer treatments.
Conor Quigley, a junior at St. Joseph’s, shaved his head at the event for his fellow classmate.
“I shaved my head to symbolize the reality of pediatric cancer and the unity of friendship to Matt Hall,” he said.
For more information, visit www.stbaldricks.org.