For $25,000 in donations, Laurie Crosby will go bald
By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
LANSING, Ill. (March 2, 2019) – The numbers are staggering. Each year, the parents of about 15,300 kids will hear the words “Your child has cancer,” according to the Childhood Cancer Statistics.
Laurie Crosby was one of those parents. Twelve years ago, she had to hear that her 10-year-old son Josh was diagnosed with leukemia. It’s a diagnosis that several decades ago would have been a death sentence.
“He would have had no shot, and it would have been devastating,” said Crosby, of Lansing. “But there has been so much research that continues to grow that helped save my son. We wouldn’t have been where we are today if not for them.”
In connection with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, JJ Kelley’s Restaurant and Pub, 2455 Bernice Road in Lansing, will host a Rock the Bald fundraiser to conquer childhood cancers, from 12:00–6:00pm on Saturday, March 16.
“We have known Laurie, Josh, and the family since he was diagnosed, and we have all become good friends,” said JoEllyn Kelley, owner of JJ Kelley’s. “ I just thought, wouldn’t it be great to do something in Lansing and get the community involved? It was something that I was passionate about.”
Kelly, Crosby, and a group of others who are helping to organize the event recruited various members of the Lansing community—police officers, library workers, Public Works officials, and other citizens to agree to shave their heads that day. So far it is more than 15 people.
“We have some great people in Lansing who are so giving and just want to support each other,” said Kelley.
Bringing any kind of awareness to cancer is essential. Cancer occurs when normal cells transform, grow, and spread too fast, forming tumors. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer- and donor-powered charity dedicated to raising money for lifesaving childhood cancer research. Since the foundation’s first grants as an independent charity in 2005, St. Baldrick’s has funded more than $258 million to support childhood cancer research experts. Because of that research, many children survive the diagnosis. Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every two minutes.
Josh was diagnosed with leukemia, which is a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells, which are essential and potent infection fighters. In people with leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, which don’t function properly.
Crosby could soon be showing even more support. If her son’s team, the Crosby Clippers, raises $25,000, Laurie’s locks will leave her head.
“I guess it was time to my head on the line,” added Crosby, whose daughter Alyson, 25, has previously shaved her hair. Son Jack, 17, will shave this year after his teacher, Mary Henry, died of cancer.
“While I’m not sure I am going to be happy being bald,” said Crosby, “it will be worth it. There have been so many people who showed support to Josh over the years. This is my small way of showing my appreciation for the many brave people. I am so thankful, and everyone has been incredible and amazing.”