Chuck Chamness, St Baldrick's

Chuck Chamness is President and CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC). , Mr. Chamness is also Chairman of St. Baldrick’s, a volunteer charitable organization focused on raising money to fight childhood cancer. He reminds us that the charity was started by three reinsurance executives at a St. Patrick’s Day Party in 1999. A challenge bet resulted in two shaving their heads for a donation to children’s cancer. While their original goal was to raise $17,000, they actually raised $99,000 and knew they had a “tremendous idea.”

St. Baldrick’s became its own foundation in 2005, the year Mr. Chamness’ son was diagnosed with cancer. He joined the fight that year and had his head shaved for the first time. Mr. Chamness will have his head shaved again in 2015 for the 11th time. He says those who have their heads shaved show empathy for children who will lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy. Mr. Chamness recalls his son being concerned about losing his hair when he had chemo treatments while in second grade. “Shaving your head shows kids that being bald is ok; being bald is valuable in funding research.” Mr. Chamness is happy to report his son Joey is now a 17 years old survivor looking at colleges.

St. Baldrick’s raised nearly $39 million for children’s cancer research in 2014. As a consortium, St. Baldrick’s funds hospitals (most members of the Children’s Oncology Group) and independent research reviewed by a scientific advisory council.

For more information on the fight against childhood cancer, visit the St. Baldrick’s website.

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