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Chattanooga native and resident leads fundraiser for Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation to support her young niece who is battling leukemia CHATTANOOGA –Diane Freeman has organized a unique fundraiser to support children with cancer. She will be shaving her head on Facebook live (https://www.facebook.com/diane.y.loyd) on May 30 at 3 p.m. in support of children battling cancer, like her niece, Alyssa Rhodes. The video will then be posted to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation fundraising site. Freeman is asking for donors to contribute the price of a haircut to support cancer research while sheltering-at-home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an option to join the fundraising team. If fundraisers don’t want to shave their heads, other options include (temporarily) dying their hair, a haircut, a bang trim, or sponsorship not to do anything crazy to their hair while under quarantine. The inspiration for this fundraiser started last year when Diane shaved her head in solidarity with her niece, Alyssa, who lost all her hair due to chemo treatments right before her fifth birthday and was feeling self-conscious. She recalled an annual fundraiser that used to take place in Chattanooga, called Jack’s Chattanoggins where people would get sponsors to shave their heads with the proceeds going to support kids with cancer. Diane had hopes to organize a similar fundraiser. This year, with the pandemic halting public gatherings, Diane organized the fundraiser online where we can support children with cancer without risking anyone’s health or safety. The goal is to raise awareness that pediatric cancer is not as rare as many believe, support kids that are undergoing treatment for cancer, and raise funds to research treatments that don’t cause so many long-term health impacts for survivors. More than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a significant health-related issue by the time they are 45 years old. Research is key to discovering new treatments, but only 4% of the federal government cancer research funding goes to study pediatric cancer. Alyssa is currently in remission, but will continue with chemotherapy treatments to ensure the cancer doesn’t return. Once she is done with treatment, she will have undergone three years of chemo, starting at age 4. Alyssa’s family feels grateful and blessed that she has survived cancer, but remains cautiously optimistic. Alyssa had to wear leg braces because her legs became too weak to support her. Just this week, she was referred to a neurologist for memory issues and to a physical therapist due to problems gripping anything with her hands. Seeing the devastating consequences of current treatment options for pediatric cancer gives additional motivation to Alyssa’s family to support fundraisers for research into new treatments. It may be too late for Alyssa to benefit from new treatments, but her family hopes to help children who are battling cancer in the future to avoid the long-term health impacts from current treatment methods. more
The Alhambra Shriners along with the Cleveland Shrine Club and Dorcus Circle will give free food out on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Community Hall Church parking lot, 1305 6th St. N.E. more
Bill Beaty, who turns 91 today ...  Betty Rutledge, who turns 83 today ... Myrtle Wooden, who turns 88 today … Danny James and Courtney Pippenger, who are celebrating birthdays today ... Rylie … more
The state’s Economic Recovery Group announced Friday it will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail establishments to instead focus on social distancing practices.Effective May 22, … more
LYNN Stewart shared this photo of her “fur-baby” Oliver playing peek-a-boo. more
MIKE WILLIAMS took this photo of baby wrens in their nest located on his front porch. more
JENNIFER HARDISON provided this trio of birds she sees regularly in her yard. They are a red-bellied woodpecker; rose-breasted grosbeak; and male American goldfinch. more
TOM ROWLAND shared this beautiful white rose bloom photo. He noted the flower came from a bush that has grown in three yards for three generations of his wife Sandra’s family. more
JANIE BISHOP submitted these beautiful blooms. more
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