Like most high school seniors, Maria Frangos is looking forward to her prom in a few months.
The 17-year-old Patapsco High student will be in attendance with her date and she'll wear a prom dress. But, there will be no hair-stylist appointment for Frangos. She will be attending the prom bald.
Frangos shaved off all her hair Sunday as a show of solidarity for her younger sister, Sandra.
Sandra, 13, lost all her hair last year while undergoing treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. Sandra is in remission and her hair has grown back now, but Maria wanted to show her sister she was not alone in her battle.
Maria also wanted to help other children battling cancer, as she was one of more than 225 people to shave their heads Sunday to help raise money for The St. Baldrick’s Foundation at Martin’s East in Middle River.
The event raised at least $146,000 for St. Baldrick’s, a non-profit organization that supports funding for pediatric cancer research. Frangos offered to shave her head if the hundreds in attendance could collect $1,000: Something that occurred in a matter of minutes.
"I remember watching Sandra having to go to school without her hair, and I wanted to show her I was there for her," Frangos said. "Shaving my hair was the least I could do if it meant helping find a cure for cancer."
Sunday’s event was the fourth annual organized by . The latest event, which also honored 24 pediatric cancer patients, was also the most successful, far surpassing last year’s total of $128,000. The first event in 2009 had 79 shavees and raised $37,000 for the charity.
"It’s just not right for a child to have to battle cancer," Jarkiewicz said. "We all need to do what we can to find a cure for this terrible disease."
Among those who shaved their heads Sunday was Baltimore County Fire Department Chief John J. Hohman and local fire union president Michael Day.
But much of the attention Sunday centered on the family of Scarlett McGraw.
The 2-year-old White Marsh girl was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in July, after getting routine bloodwork during her annual physical.
Scarlett is now in remission and part of the McGraw families desire to help St. Baldrick’s. "Team Scarlett" raised $47,123.28 for St. Baldrick’s. Sean McGraw, Scarlett’s father, was one of the shavees and raised $17,180 on his own.
"We’ve been through so much and it helps to know there are others that understand what Scarlett has endured," said Dyan McGraw, Scarlett’s mother. "This event showed us we’re not alone and that there are so many children that need the help of organization’s like St. Baldrick’s."
Editor’s Note: Essex-Middle River Patch Editor Ron Snyder’s son, , was one of those honored at Sunday’s event.