EDMONTON – Thousands of people came out for the annual Hair Massacure Friday. The event raises funds for cancer research, but many participants came out to support one very brave Edmonton boy.
“My friend Aaron has… what is it called? Neuroblastoma, and he’s really sick,” said Emma Hebert, who shaved her head alongside her mother Sharon.
Aaron Maier is 10-years-old. For half of his young life, he’s been fighting a cancer called neuroblastoma.
“The year he was diagnosed, we shaved our heads the first year after that and we’ve been doing it ever since,” added Sharon.
“It’s good, but it’s not enough… but I mean nothing you do is going to be enough, ever.”
On Friday, a huge crowd flooded West Edmonton Mall to raise money for cancer research and support Team Aaron.
“It’s amazing,” said his mom Teresa Skinner, at Friday’s event. “The love and the support … Aaron wanted to do this for the little kids… it’s such an amazing event, and the support from people and that the community will come together and do something for childhood cancer.”
Aaron’s battled through more than seven rounds of chemotherapy, and other treatments, before deciding to stop treatment a few months ago.
“The doctors told us his body wouldn’t recover from the chemo anymore, the disease was too advanced,” Skinner explained.
In November 2013, doctors told his family the cancer had spread to his entire body and was back for good.
“He was devastated obviously and scared. He just said ‘mommy, do you mean I’m going to die?’ And I had to say ‘yeah. Yeah buddy you are. I’m sorry,’” Skinner said, fighting tears.
Now, as Aaron’s final wish, he and his family are determined to give back to the organizations who have helped him through his fight with cancer over the past five years.
The Hair Massacure supports children with life-threatening illnesses by raising money for the Ronald MacDonald House, Make-A-Wish, and cancer research at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
(Above: Aaron’s mom Teresa talks about the Hair Massacure and what it means to her family)
At noon, 47 members of Team Aaron shaved their heads for the Hair Massacure at West Edmonton Mall.
“It’s going to be making wigs for the kids with cancer who lost their hair because of chemo,” explained Aaron’s sister Cassandra, who cut off her long brunette hair for the cause.
Aaron was able to attend the event on Friday, brought in and assisted by a medical team.
“He doesn’t get to go to school anymore,” said Skinner, “so it’s really important to have that normalcy in his life and let him have some fun with some friends and just hang out and be a kid for a few minutes every now and then.”
“We’re just enjoying as much time… he wants to make this last year of the Hair Massacure amazing.”
Aaron has participated in the Hair Massacure in the past, and this year, Team Aaron’s goal was to raise $50,000. After help from a bottle drive held at NOW! Radio last weekend, Team Aaron’s total surpassed the $90,000 mark.
For more information on Team Aaron, or to donate to Aaron’s cause, visit the team’s website.
With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News