TODAY   |  April 09, 2014

Foundation shaves 354,000 heads for kids’ cancer

A dare between three friends to shave their heads to bring awareness to children’s cancer became the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which has shaved more than 354,000 heads and raised more than $212 million for research.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're going for that guinness world record attempt. david alexander is right here. he's hard at work shaving heads, the most heads shaved in an hour. he's on 37 right now. all for a very worthy cause. a charity to fund research for childhood cancers. take a look. back in 2000 , a dare between friends to shave their heads to bring awareness to children's cancer became the st. baldrick's foundation. now it's grown to hair-raising proportions, shaving more than 350,000 heads, 41,000 of those female, funding life-serving research and showing kids with cancer, it's cool to be billion dollar.

>> do you remember when you used to have hair.

>> yeah.

>> and it started to fall out.

>> yeah.

>> how did you feel when it started to fall out?

>> sad.

>> a year ago, the meroni family had a house filled with healthy energetic little boys . but last summer that changed.

>> having pain in my legs. i couldn't play basketball.

>> a doctor suggested they take joseph for blood work .

>> she was reading out all these things and still never said the word "leukemia." still never said the word "cancer." so finally, i was like, is it cancer? is it leukemia? and she said yes. and --

>> leukemia, a word no parent wants in their 6-year-old's vocabulary.

>> did you know what that meant in the beginning?

>> no. but now i do.

>> but now you do.

>> countless tests, surgeries and chemo therapy followed. at a st. baldrick's event in november, his dad christian and brother shawn and thomas all sheered their head in support of their big brother .

>> they shaved their head.

>> just last week, they got a phone call with some good news. joseph is in remission.

>> you get to a point where you think all the news you're going to find out is bad news.

>> bright news for the maroni's and their little superhero.

>> team joseph !

>> we're back here on the plaza watching how it's going. david alexander is flying. i'm not going to talk to him because he doesn't want to take a break. but let me tell you, there are flames coming out of that buzzer. literally, there are flames. mike janella is the adjudicator for guinness world records . how's it going so far?

>> he's on pace. he had 37 through halfway. that would get him the record if he keeps it up.

>> you're there to make sure he gets the head completely shaved.

>> that's right.

>> dave, how you feeling?

>> my arm's tired.

>> i can imagine it's tired.

>> i'm ready for carson, though. get him down here.

>> we're going to get him over here. by the way, i like looking at the faces of the guys in line here. you're doing the white knuckle thing over here. what's your name?

>> nick.

>> all right, nick. you happy about this?

>> i am.

>> good luck. david, you keep it going, man, all right?

>> thank you, sir. he's switching out clippers every few heads to make sure he doesn't get a clogged blades and he can do a nice, smooth cut. what is he now, 40 something?

>> this is number 42.

>> 42 right here. david, i think you're going to do it. keep it up. we're going to check back in.

>>> also coming up, tony and emmy winner kristin chenoweth .