For the fifth year in a row, members of the Lemont Fire Protection District banded together to raise money for childhood cancer research and pay tribute to the late daughter of one of their own.
Fourteen members of Team Lemont Fire, affectionately known as "Team Rockstar," shaved their heads at the Bolingbrook Golf Club on Saturday for the seventh annual "Bolingbrook 4 Kids" St. Baldrick's fundraiser.
The group raised nearly $6,000 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a national non-profit organization that raises money for childhood cancer research.
For Team Lemont Fire, the St. Baldrick's event is deeply personal.
In March 2008, 11-month-old Macy Ganz—the daughter of longtime Lemont firefighter Christian Ganz—was diagnosed with stage 4 clear-cell sarcoma of the kidney, a rare cancer that affects approximately 20 children each year in the United States.
Macy completed aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, but the cancer spread to her brain. After surgery and additional chemo and radiation, she spent the summer of 2009 cancer-free.
In September 2009, however, doctors discovered Macy had developed leukemia as a result of her previous cancer therapy, requiring additional chemo and a stem cell transplant.
She died on Aug. 6, 2010, at the age of 3.
Today, the Lemont Fire Protection District continues to honor Macy's memory by shaving their heads and raising money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Over the past five years, they have raised more than $50,000.
Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo was unable to attend the fundraiser, but said he continues to be proud of the team for supporting the Ganz family and others fighting childhood cancer.
“I am very proud of our guys that they are stepping up to help our children who suffer from a terrible disease and to try to find a fix to a terrible problem," Churulo said.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There are plenty of ways to keep up on Lemont news: