Shave for Brave
Nine-year-old raises over $8,000 for cancer research
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.”
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.