Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward Follow-Up: Head-shaving event raises nearly $40K to help fund childhood cancer

Holly Morris reports

We brought you a story earlier in March about a 4-year-old girl fighting for her life and her mother's commitment to thank those who helped save her.

Abby Furco nearly lost her life to a rare form of leukemia. But with the help of a new drug, she survived.

When her mother, Patty, found out the St. Baldrick's Foundation was responsible for discovering that drug, she vowed to pay it forward.

“Someone was fighting outside of the hospital for Abby and I before she was diagnosed, when we were in the hospital getting this funding," said Patty. "It's my turn, I'm ready."

This past Saturday, Patty kicked off the 2014 St. Baldrick's Foundation’s head shaving event. It took place at Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda.

The honor of being the first shaved went to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Jim Resnick, local pediatric oncologist Dr. Thomas Newton, and Maryland governor candidate Shawn Quinn, who told organizers he stepped up to the chair because he saw our story.


“It's incredible to be here just to feel the love in this room,” said Mikelle Raffel, who lost her son to cancer.


And it was indeed one love-filled jam-packed room. Everyone was trying to witness and even capture this show of solidarity for children fighting cancer.


“When Ryan lost his hair, it was like everyone in the world knows he has cancer, and so for my friends to do this for me, there are no words that can say thank you enough,” said Raffel.


While these were the first three people to get their hair shaved, 47 others followed suit. 24 honored families were there, and over 70 volunteers, one of which confirmed why telling stories of those paying it forward are so important.

“I saw the piece that Holly had done regarding St. Baldrick’s and I just felt the need that I had to do something," said Jennifer Maragh, owner of Divine Cupcakes and Treats. "And what I did was I donated cupcakes from our company strictly for donation, so the shavees, all of the volunteers and everything, they have something sweet to eat while they were doing something sweet for the children.”

But the sweetest thing about Saturday's event was the amount of money raised -- nearly $40,000 -- two times the initial goal!

A couple of other fun numbers from Saturday's event. They had seven females shave their heads and three "honored kids" also braved the shave.

If you would like to donate, go to

If you know of someone who is doing great things that you believe should be recognized, nominate them here and help us Pay It Forward!

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