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If you’ve bumped into Dr. Hamayun Imran recently, you can see that something is obviously missing – his hair. If you ask him what happened, he will probably tell you that although he lost his hair, he actually gained something special – an external visible cue that honors one of his former patients.
Dr. Imran is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist with USA Physicians Group. His work places him in one of the toughest medical situations – caring for children battling cancer. Most think of cancer as a disease impacting the aged. But in fact, last year in the United States, approximately 16,000 children faced the life-altering diagnosis of cancer. Here along the Gulf Coast, approximately 70 pediatric cases were diagnosed in 2014 – half of which were treated at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
On March 29, 2015, Dr. Imran and several of his colleagues at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital sat down in a makeshift barber’s chair in the hospital’s courtyard and volunteered to have their heads shaved – all to support a worthy cause called St. Baldrick’s for Caroline.
“Shaving my head reinforces the message that giving up some of your precious items is just one way to show solidarity to childhood cancer patients who go through many complications including hair loss,” Dr. Imran said. But for Dr. Imran, this gesture had an additional meaning. It honors one of his former patients who bravely fought her disease but lost.
Caroline Richmond, Dr. Imran’s former patient, lost her battle with leukemia in 2013. Following her death, her family reached out to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to honor Caroline. This past weekend was Caroline’s weekend to be honored by those who loved and cared for her. In her memory, heads were shaved and money was raised to support childhood cancer research as everyone celebrated the life a young girl who bravely fought against cancer.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is an organization operated solely on volunteer- driven charity, committed to fund research to help find a cure for childhood cancers.
So if you see a slick-headed pediatric cancer specialist or any of his head-shaven coworkers in the USA Health System, you’ll understand the story behind the extreme haircuts.
Watch the video below to learn more about the event. Click here to view more photos.
© 2017 USA Health System