Madden Physical Therapy - June 2018

June 2018



A Cause That Hits Close to Home ‘Braving the Shave’ for Pediatric Cancer Research Before

J ust last month, the Madden Physical Therapy team participated in the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser, shaving pounds and pounds of hair off our heads to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help the fight against childhood cancer. It was a fantastic, fun event, and we received more than $2,000 in donations for a cause that’s close to all of our hearts. At Central Dauphin High School, they have a special service learning program available to the seniors that enables them to intern at a local business for school credit. A few years back, we had a wonderful student named Becca come through our clinic. She was an incredible young woman, driven and empathetic, and as my personal aide, many of our patients grew close to her and her magnetic personality. We developed a close relationship too, a powerful bond between mentor and student, and at the end of her tenure here, she decided to go to PT school and make a career out of her incredible talent for helping patients get back on their feet. But in her early twenties, tragedy struck. She was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, and soon after her 21st birthday, she succumbed to the disease. It hit me and the team hard to hear that Becca, who was such an amazing, kind

person, passed away just as she was embarking on her quest to change lives for the better. Ever since then, we’ve pledged to do everything we can to contribute to the fight against childhood cancer, running events each year in Becca’s honor to raise money for the cause. For St. Baldrick’s Day, we set a goal where, if we received $1,000 in donations, everyone in the clinic would get a trim. From the beginning of the fundraiser, we had a huge, moving outpouring of support, with one patient even putting $550 on the line to ensure all of us would go hairless for a few months. In the end, we raised $2,045, smashing our original goal, and on May 4, nearly all of our male PTs shaved their heads bald, including myself, and a couple of our female team members chopped off a ton of their hair as well. About 15–20 patients stuck around for the event, and we broadcasted it on Facebook Live, with dozens of people reveling in our brand-new looks. While some of it has grown back in the month since, we’re all looking a little weirder than usual, but it feels fantastic to be able to do something concrete for a cause we truly believe in. It’s important to me that at our clinic we give back to the community whenever possible. St. Baldrick’s is just one piece of that puzzle, but with Becca’s story still in the back of my mind, events like


these really take on a deeper meaning. I can only imagine the incredible places her life would have taken her, but I’m proud to be able to do my part to prevent other families from going through what hers did back then. Our fundraiser was a great, goofy time, and a powerful bonding experience for the team, but first and foremost it was a small token of Becca’s impact on all of us. As the razor buzzed me down to the most ridiculous haircut I’ve sported, she was firmly on my mind. Thanks to everyone who watched us “Brave the Shave,” and a HUGE thank-you to everyone who showed their support with a donation. I can’t express just how much it means to be part of such a generous community, eager to make pediatric cancer a thing of the past.

–Chad Madden

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