Mardi Gras celebration benefiting local head and neck cancer foundation
OAKLEY, Ohio (WKRC) - You're invited to a special Mardi Gras celebration for a very important purpose Saturday.
The third annual Head for a Cure at Mardi Gras MASKerade is at the 20th Century Theater on Madison Road Saturday night. It benefits the Brandon C. Gromada Head and Neck Cancer Foundation because of the real message behind a different kind of mask.
Brandon Gromada wore that mask, like so many others, while being treated for head and neck cancer.
"Almost all head and neck drivers or patients go through radiation, and they have to wear a mask so that they can be stabilized to have the radiation pinpointed," Brandon's mother, Karen Gromada, said.
Brandon lost his battle with this cancer, but Karen and his dad, Joe, are passionate about making sure other families have a different outcome.
"He left a beautiful wife and six-month-old baby and a family, and we still miss him," said Karen.
The money raised at this annual Mardi Gras masquerade goes to fund research and a cure. Through a partnership with the University of Cincinnati, Brandon's family has been able to have researchers already expand studies linked to both the genetics and newer potential therapies to fight this disease.
Brandon's family says the slogan on Brandon's headstone, says so much about his life.
"He was kind of the glue that held the family together," said Joe.
And while they are sad for his loss, they celebrate so much of what his short life continues to give them.
"His legacy for me is that he taught me how to be a good father," said Joe.
He also taught all of us perseverance. His cause is now really changing some of the outcomes for this disease. The foundation provides several research grants each year. So far, at least one of them has always been awarded to local scientists studying this cancer.