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This is Carolina: Grand Strand surgeon raises money, shaves head for cancer research

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 9:55 PM EDT
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - At Tidelands Health in Murrells Inlet, an orthopedic surgeon was once easy to spot with his long ponytail.

It’s not a common hairstyle, but one that ended up being grown for a great cause.

Dr. Dan Single grew his hair out for about three years. It all came off Friday in honor of pediatric cancer for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“I knew about this foundation, St. Baldrick’s Foundation,” he said. “They sponsor and fund pediatric cancer research, which is a great cause. And the idea behind it is you shave your head and try to raise money for people to donate funds to this worthy cause.”

Single has been on a mission to raise as much money as he can for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and he said he hopes to raise awareness about the foundation in the area to grow St. Baldrick’s participants in the Grand Strand.

According to the foundation, every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer, about 1 in 285 children in the United States will have cancer before the age of 20.

The organization also says cancer is the leading cause of death for kids.

“So it’s more common than one would think. And it’s just a devastating thing, you know, who wants to do that. I couldn’t imagine with my three children if that happened,” he said.

St. Baldrick’s has invested over $306 million into childhood cancer research since 2005. New FDA-approved drugs have been approved to fight certain types of pediatric cancers thanks to the research paid for by donors.

Single’s wife and three kids have been his biggest cheerleaders to cut off his long locks and, on March 19, the deed was done.

By being a part of the St. Baldrick’s fundraising campaign, Single said his wife helped him build his page on the foundation’s website over a month ago for donors to contribute to.

As of Tuesday, a St. Baldrick’s representative said Single is the 21st top fundraiser out of 8,683 registered St. Baldrick’s participants for 2021 as well as the 21st top fundraiser out of 6,381 registered shavees so far this year.

As of Wednesday, Single has raised over $15,000 and counting. He said it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing friends and relationships the family has.

“My initial thought was maybe we’d raise a couple of thousand dollars at best,” said Single. “But it kind of turned into this avalanche of support...It’s a good thing, it’s a good thing. And I got to be honest with you, it has been heartwarming for me to see the support. And it made me feel good, it makes me feel good. A little bit selfish there because I had a good feeling in my heart about this too.”

You can donate to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in Single’s name from his page.

You can learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation here.

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