Nearly a year after dying of cancer, 11-year-old Fletcher Vines continues to make an impact.
Fletcher’s mom, Gail Vines, returned to OU Children’s Physicians on Feb. 9 to help honor his memory. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation had announced giving the University of Oklahoma Foundation a $25,000 grant to be used for research for children with cancer.
“Research is ultimately going to cure these children,” Vines said. “So the wealth and the knowledge is shared, and that’s very important for Fletcher and myself.”
HOW IT BEGAN
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation was created by three men who wanted to make a difference on St. Patrick’s Day. One friend said he’d shave his head if his other friends paid him. They agreed. He shaved his head. He raised money.
Seven years later, St. Baldrick’s is one of the highest-grossing fund-raisers for children’s cancer.
“They had no idea that what they thought would be one event would turn into 828 events and over $20 million raised,” said Sophie Pragnell, public relations and marketing manager for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Vines has organized several St. Baldrick’s events in the past, raising more than $162,000.
University of Oklahoma students Jenny Rodgers said events like St. Baldrick’s are a great way to keep the memory of her friend Fletcher ” who passed away May 9, 2006 ” alive.
“I just try to live his life vicariously through mine,” Rodgers said. “He just inspired me to be a better person and help everyone I can. And not just help people, but to laugh in the bad times because not everything turns out the way it’s supposed to.” “Krista Nightengale