Every parent has hopes and dreams for their children; to be healthy, kind, well-educated and successful in life.
Unfortunately, each year the parents of over 15,000 kids across America hear the words "your child has cancer". It's heartbreaking news that no family wants to hear.
During a family's cancer journey, they sometimes must travel hundreds of miles for appointments or simply need help with unexpected expenses that pile up. This can really add up, making it difficult for families to put their focus on what's most important— helping their child get well. That's where Brave the Shave comes in, whose mission is to support families impacted by this horrible disease.
"When a child is diagnosed you don't realize the expenses that go into it," says Randi Oothoudt, Event Coordinator of Brave the Shave. "Hotel, food, gas, mortgage — whatever it may be, Brave the Shave is there to help lessen the financial burden on those families."
Last year, the BCBSND Caring Foundation joined the battle against childhood cancer by becoming a supporter and primary sponsor for Brave the Shave. The commitment ensures North Dakota families impacted by pediatric cancer receive the support and assistance they need.
"The funds from the BCBSND Caring Foundation went directly towards helping North Dakota families with unexpected expenses," says Randi.
"All kids deserve a healthy, worry-free childhood", stated Pam Gulleson, BCBSND Caring Foundation Executive Director. "We want to support these brave kids and their families so that they can concentrate on getting better."
Before joining the program, Randi Oothoudt and her family were personally impacted by the support of Brave the Shave.
Feeling the impact of Brave the Shave's support
"Brave the Shave was there for us when Cully was diagnosed," says Randi.
Now, Randi and her husband Scott Oothoudt are heavily involved in Brave the Shave. Scott helps chair the annual Brave the Shave flagship event in Bismarck, ND in honor of their 4-year-old son Cully, who passed away after a long, brave fight against cancer and Randi serves as an Event Coordinator for Brave the Shave.
They appreciate all that Brave the Shave does for families in need. Not only does it directly support these families; they help fund critical research in hope to one day find a cure for this disease.
"Another thing we like about Brave the Shave is they help fund pediatric cancer research which is so needed," states Randi. "Of all the money the United States government spends on cancer research, only 4% goes to pediatric cancer. It's just so grossly underfunded."
The mission continues
Backed by generosity, camaraderie and pure heart, Brave the Shave continues their commitment to support and assist families during their cancer journey. Every step of the way.
"From all the Brave the Shave families, thank you to the BCBSND Caring Foundation for supporting pediatric cancer research in North Dakota."