About Balding for Dollars

Balding for Dollars is an organization in partnership with the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation that raises funds to support programs that benefit Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant patients in BC. The money raised goes into programs that aim to improve our patients’ quality of life before, during and after undergoing treatment. All suitable hair donations are used to make wigs for kids. 

The idea behind Balding for Dollars is that people sign up to participate in a one day event where they would collect donations from their surrounding community, in return for shaving or cutting their own hair.  It started off as a one-day event but now Balding for Dollars events are hosted throughout the year and all over British Columbia. Over the past 20 years, students of all ages, clubs, friend groups, businesses and families have all come together to host their own events. 

While the nature of our events are centered around collecting hair, they have a much deeper meaning. We believe they give our communities an opportunity to stand with the children and families that they support. Most people don’t realize that when a child is diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder, it’s as if their whole family is diagnosed with that illness too. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to support and enhance the quality of life and care provided to Oncology/Hematology patients and their families at BC Children’s Hospital and other care centres within B.C.

Did you know that there are approximately 150 new diagnoses of childhood cancer each year in B.C., with 350 children in active treatment and about 1500 in long-term follow up. While there has been tremendous progress in successfully treating children and adolescents with cancer, one in every five children diagnosed each year will not survive. A childhood cancer diagnosis is devastating to the entire family. There is both a physical and psychological cost to families. Recognizing this, the oncology team at BC Children’s Hospital are working to find more effective and less invasive ways of treating children and at the same time raising awareness for childhood cancer.

Where the Dollars are Spent

We believe in complete transparency at Balding for Dollars and we want you to know that when you donate to us, your money helps families directly! Balding for Dollars funds some pretty amazing programs, including: Teen and family adventures, parent retreats, survivor and sibling education bursaries, family and patient support efforts and childhood cancer research. Your donations are responsible for letting teens be teens while undergoing treatment, sending kids to university, helping families find accommodations while their children are in treatments, supporting local clinical researchers while they develop treatments and search for a cure, paying for supplies that are not covered by health insurance, for providing a fun escape from the hospital and so much more.


The Team Behind it All

At Balding for Dollars, we know we couldn’t do what we do without an amazing team behind us. We have one person on staff on a part-time basis as well as a committee of stakeholders made up of amazing hospital staff members and volunteers. Every few months we meet together to discuss the programs and events happening within Balding for Dollars. Whether they work on the front lines or behind the scenes, our team is committed in working to improve the quality of life for children diagnosed with a blood disorder or cancer and their families.

Trish Shirra– Balding for Dollars Administrator

Trish joined as the Balding for Dollars Administrator this Fall. While she is new to the role, she has a lifetime of experience in being bald (she’s had alopecia since she was 4) and has fought a cancer journey of her own. She feels a tremendous sense of pride in continuing the work Marissa and all her predecessors started before her and looks forward to bringing all her skills to the table to further the great work done by Balding for Dollars. 

Thank you for joining us in welcoming Trish to the team!

Suzanne Dunbar – Parent & Patient Advocate

Suzanne has been involved with Balding for Dollars in a very big way over the past years as a parent, volunteer, and past administrator. She is very excited to work side by side with the psychosocial team at BC Children’s and other regional hospitals to help support families with FUN and informative programming such as Teen and Family Adventures to improve the quality of life for our patients and their families. She is grateful to Balding for Dollars volunteers and very generous donors who have supported Balding for Dollars in the past and in the future years to come.

Caron Strahlendorf – Balding for Dollars Medical Director

Caron Strahlendorf is Head of the Division of Pediatric Oncology/ Hematology/Bone Marrow Transplant. A graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, she has been an oncologist for 24 years since completing pediatric and subspecialty medical training in South Africa, England and Canada. Among her many leadership roles at BCCH she is Director of the Pediatric Apheresis Program, associate chair of the C&W Research Ethics Board and Medical Director of Camp Goodtimes.

The Balding for Dollars Committee

Who we are, and what we do!

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