In the spring of 1998, Western New York resident Cathleen George was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30. Although she was optimistic, there was a long history of breast cancer in her family and the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes. Cathleen opted for the radical treatment of double mastectomy followed by six weeks of chemo and radiation.
For two years her cancer went into remission, but in 2000, Cathleen found a tumor on her left chest wall. She had a T-cell replacement, and her cancer went into remission again.
In the spring of 2002, Cathleen experienced a severe headache while at work that prompted her to seek medical attention. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor and three tumors on her lung.
As she underwent more surgery, chemo and radiation, Cathleen’s brother, Tony, told her he would shave his head with her and not let his hair grow back until hers did. A teacher at Lake Shore High School, Tony began talking about his mission with his students and many of them offered to help him support his sister. One of the students suggested they raise money before shaving their heads — and hence, Goin’ Bald for Bucks was born. In its first year, Tony and 36 Lake Shore students raised $3,600.
On March 13, 2004, Cathleen George lost her battle with cancer. Her spirit now lives on through Goin’ Bald for Bucks.
More than thirteen years after its conception, Goin’ Bald for Bucks has raised more than $4 million to benefit research and patient-care programs at Roswell Park Cancer Institute with schools, individuals and organizations across the United States shaving their heads.