CANTON-Thursday would have been Jaime Lee’s 40th birthday if she had not passed 28 years ago following a battle with leukemia.

CANTON-Thursday would have been Jaime Lee’s 40th birthday if she had not passed 28 years ago following a battle with leukemia.

 

Jaime’s younger sister, Jessica Lee, has been part of the St. Jude family since her sister started treatment.

 

Each year she participates in the annual St. Jude Run starting in Jones Park for those leaving from Canton and ending in Peoria.

 

Those who wish to participate must raise $1,000 in donations before being eligible.

 

This year a bit of a twist was added to Jessica’s journey.

 

Initially, she was going to cut her hair and donate it to Wigs for Kids, as she has done in the past, but after visiting The Sweet Shoppe to pick up a donation, (they are friends of hers and she occasionally work there to help out), an idea was posed.

 

Jessica said to them, “I would do just about anything for St. Jude. If someone offered me a $1,000 donation I’d probably shave my head.”

 

Upon hearing that, The Sweet Shoppe’s Alice Herrick and Kyle Williams decided to take her up on it.

 

The stipulations were simple, if $1,000 worth of donations were brought to The Sweet Shoppe Jessica agreed to shave her head. To heighten the suspense, Jessica didn’t know if enough was raised until Thursday. Either way she was prepared to cut her hair and donate it to Wigs for Kids.

 

She was told their goal was met, but did not know the exact total until her transformation was complete.

 

A whopping $2,258.78 was donated in a very short time period; around three weeks. The last $100 came in Thursday night at It’s All About Me Boutique where Shauna Freeman and Whitnee Bordner cut and shaved Jessica’s head free of charge.

 

Also helping was third-grader Shayla Schielein. Shayla is Jessica’s daughter, Kennedy’s best friend. Shayla was diagnosed with leukemia approximately two years ago. She is currently in remission, but has about a year-and-a-half of chemotherapy treatments left. She has been receiving treatment in Memphis at St. Jude as well as the Peoria affiliate.

 

Prior to getting started Shayla eagerly waited saying, “I’m pumped!”

 

Her mom, Mallory, said Shayla had been waiting all day to help Jessica.

 

A year-and-a-half ago she donated 14 inches of her hair to Wigs for Kids.

 

Jessica went into Thursday night with 18 to 19 inches of hair.

 

She is still raising money to reach her $1,000 goal for St. Jude. She became involved with the run because of her sister-in-law, Emily Lee. Last year Jessica was able to run 22 miles, a personal best for her. 

 

Said Jessica, “It was tough, but all worth it.”

 

As her hair became shorter and shorter Jessica’s son, Grady, assured his mom, “You look pretty.”

 

Jessica shared the St. Jude runners met for their first meeting recently. There are more than 70 runners signed up and roughly $7,000 has been deposited, “It’s a great start,” she said.

 

For more information regarding Wigs for Kids check out www.wigsforkids.org or you may mail them a monetary donation, (all wigs are provided free for those in need), to Wigs for Kids-Hair Donations, 24321 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, Ohio, 44145.

 

To learn more about It’s All About Me Boutique, head to their website, itsallaboutmeboutiquesalon.com or their Facebook page.

 

If you would like to check The Sweet Shoppe out, they have a Facebook page and are located at 8 S. Main Street 110 in Canton.

 

Be looking on the Ledger’s Facebook page for videos of the event.