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Albany Med Today

Staff Shares Kinship with Kids with Cancer

Inevitably kids who have been diagnosed with cancer ask Kelly Clickner, RN, of the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, the same question: “Will I lose my hair?”

In fact, they often do, and that’s why Clickner and other nurses, parents, past patients and pediatric doctors Matthew DiCaprio, MD, Jennifer Pearce, MD, and Joanne Porter, MD, all plan to shave their heads as part of a March 16 St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser to benefit pediatric cancer research locally, nationally and internationally.

“It is just one more way we can show kids that we share a kinship,” said Clickner, whose clinical research position is funded by St. Baldrick’s.

“We’ll do anything to care for — and comfort — these children and their families,” said Dr. Porter, who will shave her head for the second consecutive year.

“When the kids see us, they have expressions of surprise and shock on their faces,” said Scott Koss, Melodies Center administrative support associate and three-time St. Baldrick’s participant. “It’s a great way to show we support them.”

Through events like this, St. Baldrick’s has raised more than $118 million worldwide for pediatric cancer research in the past 14 years.

“Now, when I tell a child, ‘It’s OK, you look great. It’ll grow back,’ they look at us and feel a lot more comfortable,” Clickner said. “That makes it all worthwhile.”