General News
Posted April 1, 2013
Dr. Hale and Dr. Messina join Cut for A Cure

Slick surfaces are nothing new to members of the Tampa Bay Lightning. But now a new team in town is about to get the smooth, shiny feel of them, too.

The All Children's Hospital tandem of Dr. Gregory Hale and Dr. Allison Messina will join the charitable cause championed by the Bolts and team captain Vinny Lecavalier - not by skating down the ice, but sitting alongside them in barber's chairs April 10 for the 2013 Cut for A Cure to benefit The Vinny Lecavalier Foundation and Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

It's all part of the annual Bright House Networks Cut for a Cure Celebrity Challenge presented by Carrabba's. This year, a half dozen Lightning players, an array of business and community leaders - and, of course, the two doctors from All Children's - will have their hair shorn to help children suffering from cancer.

Dr. Hale, a pediatric hematology and oncology physician at All Children's, and Dr. Messina, an infectious disease specialist at ACH, will part with their locks under the name Team for All Kids. The team's goal is to raise $3,000 by the end of the campaign, May 3.

"I will be shaving my head to fund pediatric cancer research because funding cancer research is the only way to improve the outcomes for this terrible disease," shared Dr. Hale. "While 80% of pediatric cancer patients are cured (largely due to the success of pediatric cancer research), we have to continue to aggressively pursue all options so no child will die from this disease. I am shaving in honor of all the children at the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center."

Adds Dr. Messina: "I care for many children who have cancer at All Children's Hospital. I want them to make sure they know we're on their side. I'm shaving my hair to show solidarity with my patients. They are so brave. This is but a small token - for them."

Lecavalier's center resides on the 7th floor of All Children's Hospital. He has encouraged many of his teammates to cut their hair for a cure in recent seasons, and the Tampa Bay Rays have adopted their own program as a result - shaving their heads as part of their "Fortune Favors the Bald" campaign.

More than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year. And funds raised through Cut for A Cure will support medical research, programming and pediatric care for children batting pediatric cancer and blood disorders.

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