St. Baldrick’s event to raise money for cancer research

Jim Hamlin and his wife, Harriet Carmine, are going bald for her son, Neal Carmine.

Neal lost his hair during treatment after he was diagnosed nearly six years ago with Ewing Sarcoma, a childhood bone cancer. At age 26, Neal, a Denver computer programmer who worked at the Pepsi Center, was one of the unlucky 10 percent who get Ewing Sarcoma after their teen years. He passed away in July 2007, just shy of his 27th birthday.

After Neal’s death, Hamlin and his wife, who moved from Denver to Mesa in 2007, began driving back to Denver each St. Patrick’s Day to participate in a head-shaving fundraising event for cancer research called St. Baldrick’s. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a California-based organization that uses money raised by volunteers, many of whom ask for donations to shave their heads at an annual St. Baldrick’s event, to aid childhood cancer research.

Hamlin said the trek became a loving way to memorialize his stepson. But he wanted to see if there was a way to bring St. Baldrick’s closer to home. So at noon on June 30, Grand Junction’s first St. Baldrick’s event will take place at Naggy McGee’s, 359 Colorado Ave., Suite 103.

Thirty-one people have already volunteered to shave their heads and/or raise money for the event, including Hamlin, Carmine, and Neal’s siblings, Louis Carmine, Robyn Carmine and Ansley Hamlin. Anyone can preregister for the event or make a donation at stbaldricks.org/events/GrandJunction. Participants who raise at least $50 get a free T-shirt from the event.

Licensed barbers and beauticians will be on-hand to shave heads and anyone can volunteer to get their head shaved at the event for a minimum donation of $100. Hamlin said he remembers one young lady with flowing red hair who became so inspired at a Denver St. Baldrick’s event that she gathered more than $500 in donations from the crowd and left the event bald.

“We always have people who walk up and get involved in the moment. It’s a moving event,” Hamlin said.

In addition to haircuts for a cause, the event will feature food, drinks, and honoring children with cancer and their families.

“It really is a way for us to memorialize our son and help others,” Hamlin said.

A blood donation drive will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day before the event, June 29, at St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center, 750 Wellington Ave. Volunteers will be available at the blood center to speak with people about St. Baldrick’s and to sign up volunteers for the Saturday event.


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