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Stylist raises awareness, money for leukemia, lymphoma

Thursday, July 22, 2004

What do hairstyles, a marathon and a girl in remission have in common?

They're all that Danae Johnson can focus on as she prepares to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Johnson, a hair stylist at Studio Designs in Cape Girardeau, will run a half-marathon in San Francisco to raise money and awareness for the society in October.

She will be running in honor of Jackie Roth, a 6-year-old Cape Girardeau girl who was diagnosed at age 2 with acute lymphocytic leukemeia. Now in remission, Jackie and Johnson were connected by a mutual friend who knew Johnson was seeking a local individual to run for.

"She's got a calling to do this run in San Francisco and she's going to have my baby's name on her badge," said Diane Roth, Jackie's mother. "I think that's really special."

Johnson, currently training, is committed to raising $3,800 for the cause.

Every five minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma or myeloma, which is nearly 300 people per day. Leukemia is one of the leading diseases contributing to the death of children under 15 years of age, yet it affects ten times as many adults. The cause of leukemia remains unknown.

The next step

But Johnson's commitment to helping those with leukemia doesn't start when she laces up her running shoes, she also takes her cause to work.

Since taking on the cause, Johnson has been cutting hair free of charge for people who wish to donate their trimmed hair to Locks of Love.

"If people are willing to donate their hair, it's the least I can do," Johnson said.

Recently Chelsea Larson, 8, donated 11-1/2 inches of her hair to Locks of Love. The organizations supplies hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Larson, who had only trimmed her hair prior to the donation, was prompted by a friend who had previously donated.

"At first my husband and I tried to talk her out of it," said Amber Larson, Chelsea's mother. "We were sad to see her hair gone but we knew it's for a good cause."

For more information on donating hair to Locks of Love, visit the Web site at www.locksoflove.org/donate_hair.php.

To make a flat donation toward Johnson's marathon goal, send a check made payable to the Leukemia Society to Danae Johnson, 3110 Dogwood Drive, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701.

A Krispy Kreme fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 30 and 31 at Westfield Shoppingtown West Park's Center Court. Donated items from Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow, and gift certificates from local golf clubs, gym memberships and restaurants will be auctioned off as well.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133


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