Taking it all off in Baldwinsville

On March 26, approximately 40 people made their way to Studio 41 Creative Hair Design in Baldwinsville to shave their lovely locks for the sake of children's cancer research.

The 2011 St. Baldrick's Foundation event was the salon's second year being involved, and Studio 41 owner Jody Teska said there is minimal focus on doing regular business.

"That day it really is all about St. Baldrick's," Teska said.

In 2010, stylist Michele Hunt talked to Teska about being a shaver at Kitty Hoynes in Syracuse, one of the largest St. Baldrick's Day participants in the area. But the idea then came about for Studio 41 to participate as a shaving location.

Hunt's son, Ethan, was diagnosed with a form of liver cancer that typically affects children under 5 when he was just 2 1/2 years old. Much like how Ethan benefited from the research done thanks to donations provided before he was diagnosed, children now and in the future will be aided by the generosity of those who have involved themselves in recent St. Baldrick's Foundation events.

"I feel like people before us who gave money helped Ethan. In the 70s, chance of survival was 20 percent and now it's 80. With our donations, in the future, maybe it can be 90 percent," Hunt said.

Ethan, now 10, will celebrate seven years of remission in June.

"I give credit to anyone who does it," Teska said of volunteer shavees. "Each year we've had different faces come on board."

And those faces aren't all of the masculine variety - Hunt said several woman also lined up to have their heads shaved as a sign of support for children's cancer research.

Baldwinsville resident Steve Borek said he had always wanted to participate in St. Baldrick's Day, but didn't know why. He's known adults who have battled cancer, and most recently learned a few months ago one of his cousins is in the first stages of pancreatic cancer - a sobering thought, he said, when the news hit him.

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