Genesee County Boy Raises Awareness for Childhood Cancer Research
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A Genesee County family is working to raise awareness and money for childhood cancer research. Their effort is for an event held by the St. Baldrick's Foundation next month.
Isaiah Merrell, 9, and his twin brother Zechariah seem inseparable. But two years ago Isaiah feared cancer could tear them apart.
"Before we even used the words 'cancer,' he asked if Zechariah was going to die," said Isaiah's mother Cheryl Merrell.
His brother was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor which caused him to have kidney cancer.
"I felt like when my brother had cancer, he's going to die. Like there's no cure for him," said Isaiah.
In 2010, Zechariah had surgery and went through chemotherapy to treat the disease.
He was also chosen to be an honorary coach for Camp Good Day's Courage Bowl.
"He lost his hair and then get got it shaved," said Isaiah.
Zechariah is now 30 months off treatment and doing fine. Still Isaiah says he remembers how tough that was for his brother.
"I already told my class I'm going to be bald on April 14th," said Isaiah.
Since September Isaiah has been growing out his hair. He plans on making his bold decision to go bald during the St. Baldrick's Foundation's signature head shaving event at Mickey Finn's in Victor.
"I think that he's doing it because he needs more money for people who still has cancer," said Zechariah.
So far Isaiah says he's helped raise $300. But the Merrell family is working toward a greater goal. They want to raise more money and awareness for cancer research through the foundation's website.
"A lot of these medicines are not designed for children and it's very little funding," said Cheryl.
"I think that's why there should be a cure, to help friends and children," said Isaiah.
St. Baldrick's Foundation