By losing hair, Onset woman finds funds for families facing cancer

April Hall seeks pledges for June's Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer
By Matthew Bernat | May 14, 2017
April Hall of Onset is looking to raise funds for programs that help families deal with the stress of a cancer diagnosis. Pictured, an image of her sponsor page for the upcoming Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer.

Onset’s April Hall says her son and husband would not be alive if not for the staff at Massachusetts General Hospital and Tobey Hospital. Her son, 24-year-old Brandford Hall, III, has suffered life-threatening medical conditions several times since he was born. Her husband of 31 years nearly died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Both are healthy now, and a grateful Hall is looking to raise funds and awareness for other families in similar situations.

“They’re miracles, my family,” says Hall. “I want to give this my all. I want to be able to say to others: ‘Hey, I’ve been there. I’ve got your back.”

On Sunday, June 4, Hall will join hundreds of others in Gillette Stadium who have chosen to shave their heads to raise money for pediatric cancer programs during Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer. All money raised will be donated to programs for children battling cancer at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, The Jimmy Fund Clinic and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Part of the money will support programs that help patients and their families pay for some of the unexpected costs of fighting cancer.

For Hall, something her son said after they left Massachusetts General Hospital seven years ago stayed with her. At the time, he was 17 and was discharged after two weeks of treatment for a meningitis infection. It nearly killed him, she said.

“When we left, I had to pay for parking and it was $275,” Hall recalled. “My son looked at me and started crying saying he was sorry. And it hit my heart, he was apologizing for being sick.”

Hall notes that money raised will help families deal with costs such as that when facing treatment. Other programs that will benefit offer sports outings, music and art therapy and holiday parties for cancer patients and their families.

For many, something as small as having one less parking fee to worry about can be a big deal, says Hall.

“It can really make such a difference,” she said. “I’ve been told more than once in my lifetime that my child will not leave a hospital alive. When that happens, paying for parking is the last thing on your mind.”

This is Hall’s first year participating in the event. So far, she’s raised $635 to help make life more comfortable for kids and families staring down cancer. But she wants to raise more.

Sometimes, she says, families are facing financial ruin after a diagnosis. In Hall’s case, she said medical bills wiped out her 401K and the family came close to losing their home. By raising money, she hopes to help others avoid that possibility.

“My family has been blessed. There were times where we didn’t know if we would have enough to make it through, but we did,” she said. “By raising this money, I hope other families will be able to make it through.”

To help Hall raise funds for Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer, visit www.buzzforkids.org and search for her name under the “sponsor” tab. Or, click here for a direct link to her sponsor page.

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