By Paula Winkel
For the third consecutive year, SAP Silicon Valley hosted the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event, Tech Conquers Childhood Cancer, on Wednesday, April 12 in Palo Alto. The room was alive with anticipation as more than 100 men, women, and children stepped up to shave or cut their hair. The outpouring of community support, coupled with the personal stories of fight and triumph, resulted in more than $200,000 raised for childhood cancer research.
SAP executive sponsors Jonathan Becher, Chief Digital Officer, and Rob Glickman, Vice President, Global Audience Marketing, emceed the program and welcomed 49ers Offensive Tackle, Joe Staley, who donated $5,000 to St. Baldrick’s and participated by shaving heads and signing autographs. The energized room was filled with employees, friends, families, and representatives from SAP, VMWare, Pure Storage, the Palo Alto Fire Department, and 35 students, ages 6–14, from Burlingame.
“I’m inspired by my colleagues and friends who come together every year, supported by SAP, to help bring our company vision to life to accelerate cures for childhood cancer,” said Rob.
Jonathan added, “Of the more than $5 billion spent on cancer research, less than 4% goes to childhood cancer research. By supporting St. Baldrick’s, we at SAP hope to change this and provide hope for the future.”
Two doctors from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Kara Davis and Christin New, shed light on the impact of the fundraiser, speaking to the St. Baldrick’s research grants that have played a vital role in the treatment and survival of thousands of children. Christin was also among those who shaved her head.
“I shave in solidarity with our patients at LPCH who endure far worse than just a day of head shaving,” said Christin. “Kids’ inner strength can shine through in times of such adversity; often, they live in the moment, and tackle the setback of cancer with grace and determination.”
Many of the children shaving their heads did so for the third year in a row in honor of their teacher at McKinley Elementary School who lost her battle with breast cancer last year. One of the boys, Avi Shapero, lives in San Francisco and joined the team because a family friend had cancer. Luca Glickman, a sixth grader from Burlingame whose sister, Alessandra Glickman, battled brain cancer in 2011 and is now in remission, declared, “I shave my head to help spread the awareness of kids’ cancer and hopefully help doctors cure cancer.”
SAP executives from across the organization made a show of support by attending, donating, and driving awareness for St. Baldrick’s on social media, including Jen Morgan, Mike Ettling, and CEO Bill McDermott, who offered to host a dinner with the employee or partner who raises or donates the most money for the event. The competition is tough for this one-of-a-kind offer, but there’s still time to give generously and win, donations are open until the end of April.
Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S. and every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide. This inspiring event helps to raise awareness and contribute funds to finding cures. Thanks to thousands of volunteers and donors, including those who participated in Wednesday’s event, St. Baldrick’s is now the leading private funder of pediatric cancer research in the United States.
If you were inspired by this event, consider making a donation to the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser at SAP Silicon Valley.