Shave for Brave

Nine-year-old raises over $8,000 for can­cer re­search

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY DENISE PIKE

When can­cer struck close to home for this young Trin­ity South boy, he was so moved by the ex­pe­ri­ence, he de­cided to do some­thing about it. He’s now on a mis­sion to help raise money for can­cer re­search. And he’s al­ready raised thou­sands! Not bad for a nine-year-old!

Chris­tian Legge is on a mis­sion to help fund can­cer re­search.

“ It’s a pretty bad dis­ease and I want to help peo­ple who have it,” he says.

For the past four years the nine-yearold has been go­ing door-to-door, host­ing fundrais­ers, swim­ming re­lays and even shav­ing his head to raise money for the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety.

“ I don’t mind be­ing bald be­cause it’s for a good cause. Al­though my head gets cold a lot,” he says.

So far he has raised al­most $ 8,000. His last Shave For The Brave took place in St. John’s a few weeks ago.

The Shave For the Brave event sup­ports young Cana­dian adults liv­ing with can­cer.

”I’m go­ing to raise as much money for can­cer re­search for as long as I can. There are many peo­ple who are sick be­cause of it and I want to do what I can to help them get bet­ter.”

— Chris­tian Legge, St. John’s

The or­ga­ni­za­tions founder, Ge­off Ea­ton, is also a can­cer sur­vivor.

Chris­tian, whose par­ents Trevor Legge and Lori Critch grew up in New Per­li­can, re­sides with his mom in St. John’s. He also spends a lot of time in New Per­li­can with his grand­par­ents Ann and John Legge and Ros­alind and Percy Critch.

On Feb. 23 Chris­tian and his grand­par­ents hosted a bake sale, flea mar­ket and soup and sand­wich lunch in New Per­li­can. The event raised over $ 1,500. He col­lected an­other $ 1,500 plus in spon­sors for the Shave for the Brave.

“ My grand­par­ents are great. They sup­port me in ev­ery­thing I do,” says Chris­tian. “ Many other peo­ple have helped me over the years with my fundrais­ers too, like my dad, who lives in Al­berta, he al­ways gets a lot of spon­sors for me. The peo­ple of New Per­li­can al­ways sup­port me too.”

Chris­tian says he was partly mo­ti­vated to fund re­search, be­cause he knows it helps can­cer pa­tients and their fam­i­lies cope with and over­come the dis­ease. He has also seen first hand how the dis­ease af­fects peo­ple.

“ My great grand­mother Edith Bur­rage died from it on Oc­to­ber 7, 2007,” he re­calls. “ I was about six at the time, but it re­ally af­fected me. It was the first time I re­ally un­der­stood what hav­ing can­cer meant, how sick it made peo­ple and I re­ally wanted to do some­thing to help them. I’ve had other rel­a­tives who have passed away from it too and some who have had it and got­ten bet­ter again.”

Head shaved

Chris­tian’s mom Lori says the idea to start shav­ing his head for can­cer came to Chris­tian dur­ing a hockey game in St. John’s about five months af­ter his great-grand­mother passed away.

“ Ge­off Ea­ton was there talk­ing about the Shave For The Brave and peo­ple were hav­ing their heads shaved,’ said Critch. “ Chris­tian looked up at me and asked why he didn’t get his head shaved when nanny died and if he could do it now. I an­swered him as best as I could and then just kind of put him off think­ing he would for­get about it, but he per­sisted.”

To pacify her son Critch took him to the area of the sta­dium where peo­ple were hav­ing their heads shaved, all the while he kept plead­ing with her to let him do the same.

“ I told him if he shaved all his hair off his head would be cold and I also said some kids at school might tease him about be­ing bald, but he still wanted to do it,” chuck­les Critch. “Any­way he left the sta­dium that day with his head shaved.”

Chris­tian’s lit­tle bald head got him $ 565 in spon­sors and, just as mom had pre­dicted, a lit­tle teas­ing as well. How­ever thanks to his Grade 1 teacher Brenda Par­sons of Top­soil Ele­men­tary it all worked out.

“ She turned it into a re­ally good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all his class­mates,” ex­plains Critch. “ She talked about can­cer and how it af­fected peo­ple and how im­por­tant it was to raise money to help find a cure. The kids came on board and started help­ing Chris­tian with his fundrais­ing. They re­ally sup­ported him. It was very touch­ing.”

The fol­low­ing year, ( 2008) as soon as Chris­tian heard the Shave For The Brave ra­dio ads, he started fundrais­ing.

“ I also grew my hair out way be­fore so there would be more to shave,” says Chris­tian who now at­tends McDon­ald Drive Ele­men­tary School. “ It was pretty cool ac­tu­ally.”

His ef­forts re­sulted in $ 1,800 for can­cer re­search. Last year he raised $ 2,220.

“ Ev­ery year I want to raise more and more money,” he says.

Swim For Hope

Over the past few months Chris­tian, who is a mem­ber of the St. John’s Leg­ends Swim team, has been spending as much time as he could in the pool pre­par­ing for a March 19 Swim For Hope re­lay. The Swim For Hope is a joint fundrais­ing ef­fort be­tween the Dr. H. Bliss Mur­phy Can­cer Care Foun­da­tion and Swim­ming New­found­land and Labrador ( SNL.) Pro­ceeds from the 12-hour swim re­lay are di­vided 50/ 50 (af­ter ex­penses) be­tween the Can­cer Care Foun­da­tion and par­tic­i­pat­ing swim clubs.

Un­for­tu­nately about a week and a half be­fore the event Chris­tian fell and broke his arm.

The ac­ci­dent kept him out of the pool, but did not hin­der him from sup­port­ing the event.

“ I wish I could have com­peted be­cause it was for such an im­por­tant cause, but there’s al­ways next year,” he says.

When he isn’t rais­ing money for can­cer re­search the Grade 4 stu­dent likes read­ing books and play­ing video games. He says he doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, how­ever he plans to con­tinue with his fundrais­ing ef­forts and to keep shav­ing his head.

“ I’m go­ing to keep rais­ing money for can­cer re­search for as long as I can,” he says. “ There are many peo­ple who are sick be­cause of it and I want to do what I can to help them get bet­ter.”

FAM­ILY AF­FAIR -Ros­alind Critch, right, and Anne Legge along with their grand­son Chris­tian Legge, held a bake sale, flea mar­ket and soup and sand­wich lunch in New Per­li­can Feb. 23. The event raised over $1,500 for can­cer re­search.

BIG HUG - Chris­tian Legge re­ceives a cud­dle from Sara Green, Miss New­found­land and Labrador, dur­ing a Feb. 23 fundraiser in New Per­li­can. For the past four years Chris­tian has been go­ing door-to-door, host­ing fundrais­ers, swim­ming re­lays and even shav­ing his head to raise money for the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety.

CLEAN CUT - Nine-year-old Chris­tian Legge sub­mits to the shears dur­ing a Shave For The Brave fundraiser in St. John’s last month.

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