St Baldrick's FoundationThere are certain people you encounter who leave an everlasting impression on your life. These people are typically relatives, good friends or someone professionally who has helped you.  Think of someone who has positively influenced you.  Sam Marx was one of those people for many in Vancouver, WA.  Sam was a young scholar, athlete, Eagle Scout, and talented musician.  He was valedictorian at his high school and known as a kid who made the most of everything.  During Sam’s senior year of high school, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer (desmoplastic small round cell tumors). His disease required experimental treatments, some of which were made possible through funding from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. His courage, strength, and love were magnified as he helped raise funds for pediatric cancer research through St. Baldrick’s events in the Portland, OR area during his treatments.  Unfortunately, Sam didn’t survive his fight with cancer, but his memory lives on.

A few weeks ago, my family and I participated in the 5th Annual Sam’s Run/Walk to benefit childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The event’s proceeds were included with the “Team Sam I Am” shavee donation to a Vancouver, WA St. Baldrick’s event, also held last month. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer powered charity that directs every possible dollar to carefully selected research grants, with the goal to find cures for childhood cancers. Most typically it’s through their head shaving events, but also numerous small community events like our Sam’s Run/Walk. In 2015, St Baldrick’s raised $37M.  YTD 2016, events have raised $32M.  Besides raising money to support cancer research, St. Baldrick’s is an event that brings people together for hope and support during difficult times.  Donations give hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers.

My family has been friends with the Marx family for many years and we have participated in all 5 Sam’s Run events.  My wife raised $1k+ and bravely had her head shaved 5 years ago, so we’re committed to the cause.

St Baldrick Foundation

This year’s run was on a recent overcast Saturday morning along the Heritage Trail in Camas, WA. It was actually perfect conditions for approximately 50 people ranging in age from little kids to seniors. For a nominal donation of $20+, participants received a colorful, “Team Sam I Am” t-shirt. After a few words of encouragement and thanks from the Marx family and some lighthearted jokes from host/emcee, Dave Griffin, the event was started with a horn. No clock is used, so finishing is purely for fun and exercise. Everyone cheers on each other as they complete their way through the 5k. With coffee, juice and bagels waiting at the end, it’s a perfect way to get your exercise in on a Saturday morning, while contributing to a good cause. My wife ran with a friend. My youngest son finished first and then proceeded to run an additional 5 miles to get his planned 8 miler in for the day. He’s an over achiever….lol.  This run was a nice, easy and a fun break.  Each one of my workouts is not always about marathon training.  On this day it was great to spend time with old friends.


St Baldrick Foundation

I encourage you to click on the link to find out more and even consider a donation to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. If there’s an event in your area, consider supporting it. Get really brave and commit to getting your head shaved. Considering all the kids with cancer who lose their hair during treatment, it’s not that big of a sacrifice for such a worthy cause.