A son watched his teary-eyed mother as a stylist cut and shaved off the dark brown locks from her head in front of hundreds of people in an annual fundraiser for childhood cancer research.
Royann Alanis was part of the Central California Head Shaving Challenge at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s “Be the Hero” Carnival. She took the challenge in honor of her son Jacob Alanis, 13, who was diagnosed last year with Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that generally affects older children and teenagers and occurs more often in large muscles of the trunk, arms and legs, according to the American Cancer Society.
In Jacob’s case, a tumor in a large muscle in his back spread to his bone marrow. He started losing his eyesight and hearing as well as having nosebleeds, said Royann. Jacob is now in remission, but will continue to be monitored for five years, his mother said. She said he’s set to start classes as a freshman at Madera High School in August. The Alanis family plans to continue supporting cancer research fundraisers.
“The staff here at Craycroft (Cancer Center) was just amazing to us. He was in stage four when he came in and Dr. (Vonda) Crouse just took up his case and, by the grace of God, healed him,” said Royann...