BONIFAY – Even though 12-year-old Alexzandrea “Allie” Smith is only in the seventh grade at Bonifay Middle School, she stood up to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer with her public declaration in front of hundreds on June 1.
Smith said she was inspired to help a six-year-old little girl by the name of Carolyn Hendrix of Pensacola who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone disease found in two of her ribs.
“I had been following her story on Facebook when I found out about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Shave-A-Thon,” said Allie. “At first, my mom said no, but then she agreed.”
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing exclusively on raising money and awareness for childhood cancer.
Through her efforts, Smith raised $4,133, which included donations from the Bonifay Fire Department and Holmes County Emergency Management Services. To show their support, members of the Bonifay Fire Department even shaved their heads.
“It was amazing the amount of support we got from everyone,” said Allie. “I was nervous, and the closer we got to Pensacola, the more nervous I became.”
Smith was one of more than 200 others to sit on the field of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos before their game, with hundreds more filling the stands in support of this year’s Shave-A-Thon. Smith knowing she wasn't alone on her date with the razor helped boost her courage.
“What I’ve always told myself was that children with cancer don’t have a choice about losing their hair, but I do,” said Allie. “I want to do all I can to help and I want to encourage others to do the same.”
On May 30 Carolyn Hendrix’s family announced she was cancer free, all thanks to the help of St. Baldrick’s and the prayers and support of all those involved.
For more information, visit http://www.stbaldricks.org.