The money raised through Shave and Buzz is used to support the Bobby Menges “I’m Not Done Yet” Foundation, which provides support to different cancer centers around the nation, including Duke’s.
The main goal of the “I’m Not Done Yet” foundation is to help care for adolescents and young adults (AYA) facing cancer. They tend to be a forgotten demographic in cancer treatment, since most hospitals design treatment for young children and adults, but have nothing specific for people in their teens.
From a medical, social, and emotional standpoint, teens and young adults face far different challenges than children and older adults, and thus require specialized, holistic care. The disruption that cancer inflicts upon patients during this dynamic period of their lives can be extremely detrimental to their mental and physical well-being, prompting a need for more effective and innovative treatments.
Whether it be handling the pressure of returning to school, returning to a job, or dealing with the isolation one will inherently feel from their peers, teens and young adults battling cancer face a great deal of uncertainty that the physical stress of their disease only compounds. Our mission with Shave and Buzz is to raise money to help curb that uncertainty and promote the well-being of teens and young adults battling cancer.
Mark has graduated from Duke University with a degree in computer science, and is now living in his home state of California. He was diagnosed with Central Nervous System (CNS) germinoma in January 2016.
After undergoing multiple neurosurgeries, Mark began an intense regimen of chemotherapy and radiation which lasted from February 2016 to July 2016. During these challenging months, Mark lost his appetite, his hair, and his independence, but he did not lose hope. For him, staying optimistic was the easy part, since he felt the support of not only his fraternity behind him, but the entire Duke community as well.
Fortunately, Mark’s treatment regimen was successful and he was declared in remission in late July 2016. He returned to his studies at Duke in August 2016. He attributes his quick recovery to his mom’s persistence in making him chug green juices and mineral broth multiple times daily.
He is beyond grateful for the support that Shave for Schreiber, Buzz for Bobby has elicited and hopes that the momentum can carry on this year and into the future.
Bobby Menges was a brother of Pi Kappa Alpha who was initiated in spring 2016 and a member of Duke’s Class of 2019 studying mathematics and music.
When he was five years old, he was first diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma, an extremely rare cancer for that age, and was again diagnosed with the same cancer at age 9.
After being in remission for almost 10 years, he was diagnosed with a new cancer called PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor) in the spring of 2016. “As a second semester freshman, this fight was by far the worst of the three,” he said. “I had to leave my new friends, my classes and my girlfriend so that I could receive treatment back home in New York.”
About a week after he left, the fraternity he had just joined, Pike threw an event called Shave for Schreiber, Buzz for Bobby to support him and Pike junior, Mark Schreiber. “In the midst of the worst period in my life, these men that I barely knew set aside their egos and shaved their heads in solidarity with me and Mark. This event is more than a fundraiser to me. It gave me the hope and strength to fight through cancer a third time.”
On September 8, 2017 at the age of 20, Bobby passed away as a result of his cancer. Losing Bobby was devastating to both Pike and the larger Duke community, but his spirit lives on through the actions of those whose lives he touched.
Current Pike senior, Cory Weinfeld, described Bobby by stating that, “To be able to battle the way he did and still have the most positive outlook on life ever was truly an amazing feat. I am absolutely going to tell my kids about Bobby, his perseverance, his joy, and hope that they go on to make the most of bad circumstances and live every second of their lives like it could be their last. I plan on giving my all to S4SB4B, because not only is cancer the worst thing in the entire world, but it took the best person I have ever known away from us, way too soon.”
Following Bobby’s passing, his family founded the Bobby Menges “I’m Not Done Yet” Memorial Fund, which raises money for AYA oncology programs around the nation. As a result, Shave and Buzz now raises money for this foundation.