COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) Police officers across Central Texas are ditching their razors to help find a cure for a deadly form of childhood cancer as part of "Beard It Up" and "Color for the Cure," a campaign aimed at raising awareness and money for research into diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG.
(Photo by Chelsea Edwards)
DIPG is one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer and has no cure.
In 2016, 6-year old Brock Fleming was diagnosed with DIPG after a trip to the emergency room revealed he had a brain tumor.
He died seven months later.
According to the organization "The Cure Starts Now", standard treatment hasn't changed much over the past 60 years, leaving parents with few options after a diagnosis.
“It's heartbreaking because you are trying to just do what's right for your kid, and you can't stop it,” says Brock’s mother Melissa Fleming.
After her son died, she formed a Round Rock chapter of the organization.
“Parents are forced to beg for trials and options, and so what we're doing is providing the money for doctors to research what's happening and at the same time getting parents drug options in hopes of finding a cure.”
During the month of November, police departments, including the Copperas Cove Police Department have allowed officers to donate to the cause in exchange for being allowed to grow a beard or goatee.
Female officers who donate can paint their nails any color and in some departments, color their hair.
The Lampasas and Lacy Lakeview departments are also participating.
Individuals do not have to be on the force to help out; anyone can create their own fundraising team or donate through participating police departments.
Donors who contribute at least $30 will receive T-shirts.