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Edmonton ‘Hair Massacure’ fundraiser supports kids fighting for their lives

Click to play video: 'Pink hair comes off for a great cause' Pink hair comes off for a great cause
WATCH ABOVE: Wednesday is the annual Hair Massacure event in support of sick children across the province. Erin Chalmers was there as locks were shed – Feb 24, 2016

EDMONTON – Heads were being shaved Wednesday morning during the 14th annual Hair Massacure in support of sick children around Alberta.

The event raises money and awareness for children with life-threatening illnesses.

READ MORE: Annual Hair Massacure kicks off in Edmonton

The MacDonald family started the event in 2002 when youngest daughter Kali was finishing her third year of chemotherapy.

Kali’s older sister, Kyrsti, had her head shaved Wednesday morning in support of Kali and the children she has met who have been inflicted with a deadly disease.

“I’m so lucky to have my sister with me here today, and that is a huge part of my inspiration,” Kyrsti said.

Kyrsti MacDonald shows off her shaved hair after she has it cut during the 14th annual Hair Massacure in Edmonton, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Dave Carels, Global News
A woman has her head shaved in support of the Hair Massacure fundraiser, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Dave Carels, Global News

 

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“It’s pretty brutal: chemo every day for three years. And look at her now, she’s graduating, she’s about to be singing in a few minutes up on the stage with her sister, and she’s nice and healthy,” mother Tammy MacDonald said.

WATCH BELOW: The Hair Massacure fundraiser started Wednesday morning. A cancer survivor shared her personal story during Wednesday’s Morning News.

Click to play video: 'Cancer survivor shares personal story during Hair Massacure' Cancer survivor shares personal story during Hair Massacure
Cancer survivor shares personal story during Hair Massacure – Feb 24, 2016

In its first year, 48 people took part in the Hair Massacure, raising $37,000. The hope is this year’s event will raise at least $1 million. The event has raised over $10 million in its first 13 years.

The funds are split between Make A Wish Northern Alberta and the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

“The money goes to research projects centred on childhood cancers: leukemia and lymphoma,” Shairaz Baksh, University of Alberta researcher, said.

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“Really, we’re trying to better  understand the disease, and also come up with therapeutics to treat relapse patients, so basically trying to keep kids cancer free.”

Mike House with the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation also had his head shaved Wednesday.

“This is about reminding people that kids go through tremendous trauma all the time and they live through it and they’re better for it,” House said.

Two Edmonton police officers get ready to have their heads shaved in support of the 14th annual Hair Massacure, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Dave Carels, Global News
An Edmonton police officer has his head shaved during the Hair Massacure, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Dave Carels, Global News
The goal for the 14th annual Hair Massacure was to raise $1 million, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Erin Chalmers, Global News
The 14th annual Hair Massacure took place at West Edmonton Mall Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Erin Chalmers, Global News
Click to play video: 'Cancer survivor shares personal story during Hair Massacure' Cancer survivor shares personal story during Hair Massacure
Cancer survivor shares personal story during Hair Massacure – Feb 24, 2016

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