CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Dakota Earl is no stranger to overcoming the odds, after being diagnosed with Langerhans cell hystiocystosis (LCH) at just nine years old. He’s been in remission for six years and says he wouldn’t have gotten through it all with out his family.
“Its an isolating feeling,” explained Kimberly Earl, Dakota’s mom. “Watching your child go through something so painful is absolutely heartbreaking.”
His family says they wouldn’t have gotten through it without the community support of the West Virginia Kids Cancer Crusaders. On Wednesday it was Dakota’s turn to give back to the group that helped him, as he donated more than $2,000 through his annual “shave off.”
For the last 6 years, Dakota has been shaving his head to bring awareness to LCH and pediatric cancer. He grows his hair all year long, only cutting it in September when he goes completely bald.
“It gets shaved in like a years time anyways so I guess I never really held on to it,” explained Dakota, when asked if he prefers his long hair or bald head.
“To be completely honest my years of chemotherapy are a bit fuzzy, but from what I recall I remember wanting to do this to help support people in my predicament, because there are quite a few.”
Its estimated that in 2018, more than 15,000 children were diagnosed with cancer in the United States. The WV KIDS Cancer Crusaders was established to help create awareness, advocate, and provide cancer kids and their families in the Mountain State with financial support and resources needed along their journeys. The group was co-founded by Kelly Wymer and Marisa and Doug Skaff.
If you’d like to help support the WV KIDS Cancer Crusaders, click here.