Redondo Beach chief of police, Jon Naylor, said he always knew the relationships between police officers were close – but never so much when his daughter, 11-year-old Cait, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last October ,
On Saturday, January 18, police officers from Redondo Beach, along with friends and officials from neighboring departments, came out to show how much they are helping Naylor and his family by shaving their heads to raise money for cancer research in children to collect.
“I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support,” said Naylor, who has worked for the Redondo Beach Police Department for more than 25 years. “The support is so overwhelming. It’s just so touching. “
According to spokeswoman Michele Franco, all of the money raised on Saturday goes to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which, according to spokeswoman Michele Franco, makes the greatest contribution to promoting cancer research among children in the country. Since 2005, the foundation has provided $ 282 million in research grants for childhood cancer, Franco said.
The foundation hosts around 1,000 events nationwide each year – more than 33,000 people say goodbye to their cancer research locks, Franco said.
“In the beginning, people wanted to shave their heads to show solidarity with children with cancer who lose their hair during cancer treatment, but they also wanted to find a way to continue the fight by raising money for research,” said Franco ,
Naylor said his daughter showed the first signs of illness in early October 2018 when she complained of ankle pain. Naylor thought it was a swollen ankle, possibly due to a sprain in volleyball.
“Thank God her mother took her in and checked it out,” Naylor said.
They went to an orthopedic surgeon who took X-rays but saw no broken bones or ligaments. The doctor suggested an ultrasound and an MRI.
“We thought that was crazy,” said Naylor. “We never thought that cancer would appear in an ankle. We were incredulous. “
The ultrasound finally discovered a mass in her ankle that turned out to be stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive form of soft tissue cancer that children often suffer from. Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue carcinoma in children. According to St. Baldrick’s, about 350 new cases occur in the US each year.
Cait immediately received a 42-week chemotherapy schedule. She was released from her Torrance elementary school and entered an independent study course supervised by a teacher who comes to her home twice a week.
“It was such a roller coaster ride, but the support of everyone from the police department made such a big difference,” said Naylor.
It’s not just his colleagues in Redondo Beach who have shown support. At the event on Saturday, officials from Torrance, Hermosa Beach and Gardena came to shave their heads too.
Torrance teacher Derek Hoffman, who previously had Cait as a student, came away from the event with a radiantly clean scalp.
“I just thought what a great thing to do and support Cait and support St. Baldrick,” said Hoffman.
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