Siblings fulfil their mother’s wish
How you can help
Cancer is the leading cause of childhood death worldwide but Bermuda is helping scientists get closer to a cure.
The island has raised $6,477,564 since a group of friends began holding St Baldrick’s shaves here in 2002.
Funds also go towards the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre’s SunSmart Programme, an awareness and prevention programme for children.
In the early years, ten was considered a good number of participants for St Baldrick’s. This year, 153 people have raised $363,901 — so far — by shaving their heads. The donation page is still open.
A shave open to the general public takes place on Friday, at Docksider’s Pub and Restaurant, from 5pm to 10pm.
Sign up and donate at http://bit.ly/2GnNzJb
It was one of Victoria Benevides’s last wishes to have her children “rock the bald”.
Payton, Isabella and Ethan Benevides Mora were happy to oblige. The siblings signed up for St Baldrick’s after their mother died of bile duct cancer on January 23, age 46.
“We’re doing this because of our mom,” said seven-year-old Isabella, who studies at Mount Saint Agnes with her twin, Payton. “She was nice and we loved her.”
Ms Benevides’s mother, Jeanne Center, said her daughter took part in the event to help children with cancer last March, a month before she learnt of her diagnosis. Because the underwriter had just started a new job, she couldn’t shave her head. Instead, she cut her hair and donated it to wig charity Locks of Love.
Payton and 11-year-old Ethan, a Saltus Grammar School student, joined her. Her hope was that all three of her children would take part this year.
“She talked about it in the hospital,” Mrs Center said. “She had a love for children. She was a very kind and loving person.”
Doctors initially gave Ms Benevides five years to live.
“She didn’t even get two years,” Mrs Center said. “She got nine months.”
Payton and Isabella participated in Mount Saint Agnes’ shave on Monday; Ethan will shave his head with other Saltus students at 8.30am on Friday.
“It was really fun,” Payton said of last year’s event. “The shaving [stung a little] when they did it over the ears but that went away just when the shave was over. Then you had to give your head one good scratch and you were done.”
The aim was for the twins to raise $500 each and Ethan to raise $200. As of yesterday, Ethan had raised $1,020.
Team Vicki, consisting of the twins, their cousin and MSA teacher Don Burgess and classmate Ethan Spurling, had raised $4,865.
Mrs Center said her daughter would have been proud.
“She’d be very happy they were doing this,” she said.
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