SWFL Community Goes Bald During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month At ‘Clips For Cancer’ Events

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Childhood cancer survivors to shave heads of dozens of men and woman at local Great Clips Salons

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 1, 2020) – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month kicked off today at Golisano Children’s Hospital when Jordan DeLorenzo, 14, a pediatric cancer patient who thought he was there for a routine visit, was surprised by his doctors and family with a very special ceremony. Jordan’s big brother Austin is one of this year’s Clips for Cancer participants and arranged to have his hair shaved off by Jordan in this overwhelming act of brotherly love and support.

“When Jordan was born, God gave me the job of being a big brother,” Austin DeLorenzo said. “At the time, I didn’t know what that job included, but as I got older, I understood that I would love and protect my little brother at all cost. On April 12, 2018, my brother had to start a fight, one I physically couldn’t fight with him, until today.”

Clips for Cancer is an annual event designed to support and empower children currently undergoing treatment for cancer and blood disorders at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Throughout September, community leaders will go bald when their heads are shaved by local children who’ve survived their battle with this terrible disease. Like Austin, “Shavees” (adults who choose to go bald) often have their own inspiration for braving the shave.

In spring 2018, life changed way too fast for Jordan and his family. The night before Jordan was to go back to school after Spring Break, he spiked a fever of 104 degrees. After a few doctor visits, the fever wasn’t subsiding, and additional tests were ordered. While at home one afternoon, the family received a phone call informing them that something was not right with Jordan’s labs and that they’d need to go to the fifth floor of Golisano Children’s Hospital to meet with oncology. Jordan was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at age 12. Since then, he has undergone blood transfusions, platelets and chemo in the spinal cord. He’s been sick, had fevers and lost significant weight. Jordan is currently receiving chemotherapy and is scheduled to complete treatments Aug. 2, 2021. Today, Jordan looks healthy, has gained weight and has a full head of hair. He started school virtually yesterday as a freshman at Ida Baker High School in Cape Coral where he wants to enroll in the medical academy program. Jordan wants to be a doctor or nurse in oncology to help kids like him. 

“It’s a walk through life that you never you think you’ll ever take – cancer,” said Jordan’s mother Christina. “We were all in shock. Even two years later, with all the appointments and treatments and hospital visits, people say, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ I think your instincts just kick in. We have to do it. We will do it. We are in this as a family and the support of everyone at Golisano has been overwhelming. We are a family.”

To raise awareness and drive philanthropic support, Shavees are inviting the Southwest Florida community to watch them in these moments of empowerment live on Facebook and show their support by making a donation to Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. Each Shavee has a personal goal of raising $2,500 or more to support kids with cancer and the pediatric hematology and oncology program.

Every Friday in September, watch live on Facebook as pediatric cancer survivors shave the heads of community leaders. Make a donation directly to Barbara’s Friends or show your support for these amazing Shavees and cancer survivors by visiting
BarbarasFriends.org/ClipsForCancer.

About Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund

For more than 25 years Barbara’s Friends has supported lifesaving cancer care for children from across Southwest Florida at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The Barbara’s Friends Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center at Golisano Children’s Hospital has treated more than 10,000 children with cancer and blood disorders. These young patients and families face many challenges – physically, emotionally and financially. More than half of the children treated for cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital are uninsured, on Medicaid or have no form of payment. The Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program is the only program of its kind in Southwest Florida, and no child is denied treatment or turned away as a result of their family’s inability to pay for care. Barbara’s Friends has raised more than $20 million in 25 years. Donations to Barbara’s Friends allow families to receive the care they need close to home and focus on helping their kids get better. For more information, visit BarbarasFriends.org.

ABOUT GOLISANO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Established in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” three consecutive years by The Leapfrog Group. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote. For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org

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