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Brave the Shave 2022 on Saturday in Bismarck

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 4:06 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Saturday is the annual Brave the Shave event at the YMCA in Bismarck to benefit childhood cancer.

We took a look at the inspiring people behind the organization and the impact their work could have on children all around the world.

“It’s a blow to your heart that I, it’s hard to put to words it’s, it’s awful,” said Taner Ohlsen.

That’s how Ohlsen explains hearing the words no parent wants to hear: your child has been diagnosed with leukemia.

After three and a half years of grueling treatments, thankfully his son is about to hit a major milestone.

“We are excited that this year he’s actually celebrating his five years cancer-free. So on May 21st will be the anniversary of him taking his very last dose of chemo ever and he’s now strong and healthy,” said Taner Ohlsen, family representative at Board Member at Brave the Shave.

Brave the Shave is the region’s largest fundraiser on a mission to fight childhood cancer through family support and research.

At Brave the Shave’s first annual event in 2008, the goal was to raise $10,000 and shave five willing heads to raise awareness and stand in solidarity with children fighting cancer.

Since then, nearly 2,200 volunteers have shaved their heads and raised more than $3 million for kids with cancer.

Each year, the money collected supports research and helps families with expensive medical bills, travel, and lodging related to their child’s diagnosis.

This year, money will be given to support groundbreaking research at the University of Miami which is looking to revolutionize cancer treatment all over the world.

“So we’re not using cells from patients who have very few immune cells to give. Um, and it’s less taxing on the patient. Number two, it allows us to use healthy donors from around the world, said Dr. Asha Pillai, associate professor of pediatrics and microbiology and researcher at University at Miami.

The research under Dr. Asha Pillai is expected to be brought to clinical trials soon.

“It’s incredible to think that a charity that was started in Bismark, North Dakota, could have an impact on a scale that large that we could here as a community be a part of something that changes the lives of people forever with the research that they’re doing,” said Ohlsen.

Brave the Shave 2022 begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bismarck YMCA. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

The group says they have not yet reached their fundraising goal.

You can donate or find out more information at bravetheshave.net

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