Brenna Neumann raising funds for cancer research
By Angie Landsverk
Brenna Neumann is raising funds for childhood cancer research with haircuts, shaves and brats.
On Sunday, June 21, Brenna, along with her parents Scott and Lorrie Neumann, are hosting an event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., which will raise money for the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation.
The foundation raises money specifically to fund childhood cancer research.
Brenna was 3 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia.
She underwent chemotherapy for 2 1/2 years and has been in remission for 12 years.
“I just wanted to help people who were in my situation and raise money for kids who were like me,” Brenna said.
While she does not remember very much about those years of treatment, her parents remember every bit of it.
About a month into her treatment, Brenna started losing her hair.
When that happened, Lorrie shaved her head. This weekend, Lorrie will shave her head again.
“It’s just hair,” she said, explaining that when they decided to hold the event, she immediately decided to have her head shaved.
The family is calling their event Shaving for A Cure, but the fundraiser will also include haircuts and a brat fry, with all donations going to the foundation.
The cut-a-thon will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday at Cost Cutters.
People may get a $10 haircut, with all the money going toward the fundraiser.
This event includes all haircuts. People do not have to get a particular amount of hair cut for it.
“Those girls are volunteering their time,” Scott said, as Cost Cutters is closed on Sundays.
At noon, the head shaving will begin at Cost Cutters.
People may donate whatever amount they wish to the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation.
The brat fry will begin at 10 a.m., in front of their grocery store, Neumann’s Piggly Wiggly, and will take place until all the brats are gone.
“We will also have raffle baskets there as well,” Lorrie said.
She said the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation originated on St. Patrick’s Day.
“Typically, a lot of them are around St. Patrick’s Day, but now they’re year around,” Lorrie said of the fundraisers.
The family learned about the foundation from either Brenna’s nurse or child life specialist.
“Mom always said, ‘I want to do one of those St. Baldrick’s,’” Brenna said.
The Neumanns are holding the event in memory of Mara Stange, who was 7 when she passed away in 2011. She had an inoperable brain tumor.
“There’s so many kids in our community alone that have been affected by this. I’m sure almost everybody in Waupaca knows somebody who has been diagnosed,” said Brenna.
Since her diagnosis, Brenna has continued to have follow-up visits with her pediatric oncologist.
At first, those visits took place every month, following her treatment. Eventually, they became once a year. Her next one is in July.
Now 17, Brenna will be a senior at Waupaca High School this fall.
After high school, she plans to study nursing in college.
Lorrie said Brenna talked about wanting to be a nurse from the time she was a youngster.
“I hope to someday be a nurse at a children’s hospital. It would be really cool if I could get into pediatric oncology,” Brenna said.