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UAE Ambassador Shaves Head to Support Children with Cancer

Raises nearly $550,000 for Children’s National as Part of "Be Brave & Shave" Initiative

Washington, DC (Vocus) January 11, 2009 -- The United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba, had his head shaved Friday to support the cancer programs at Children's National Medical Center as part of the "Be Brave and Shave" fundraising effort.

By offering to have his head shaved for the cause, Ambassador Al Otaiba raised more than $274,000 from friends, family and colleagues and generously matched the donations -- bringing his total contribution to nearly $550,000.

"Be Brave and Shave", which launched this year with the dedication of Children’s supporter Colleen Avis and a team of volunteers, inspired many people to step forward to have their own heads shaved to show support for children with cancer and to raise money for Children’s National. Including the ambassador’s generous contribution, the initiative has raised nearly $760,000 this year.

In November, 80 police, firefighters, and other supporters, including Children’s National oncologist Marianna Horn, MD, stepped forward to have their heads shaved.

The effort took a huge step forward when philanthropist and longtime Children's National supporter Joseph E. Robert, Jr. got involved. Robert, who spent months growing his hair back after losing it while battling brain cancer, decided to have his head shaved for the cause – and he personally raised $114,025.

Inspired by Robert’s selfless act, Ambassador Al Otaiba decided to support this effort to give back to the many children he had met at Children’s National, and children around the world who are facing cancer.

“Thanks to the tireless work of the team at Children’s National, countless kids around the world have the support, care and attention they need to push through very challenging circumstances,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba. “I am proud to personally contribute to the hospital’s continued success.”

Max Coppes, MD, senior vice president of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, said, “Ambassador Al Otaiba’s commitment to transforming the lives of sick children in our region and around the world is heartfelt. He has been a true partner in our effort to ensure that our children enjoy a bright, healthy future.”

The specialists in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National have helped increase cure rates for numerous childhood cancers and other diseases, and are working to expand the number of diseases that can be cured as well as minimize the side effects of treatment.

Stacy Williams at stwillia(at)cnmc(dot)org or (301) 565-8523

About Children’s National Medical Center
Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a proven leader in the development of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children’s has been serving the nation's children for more than 135 years. Children’s National is ranked among the best pediatric hospitals in America by US News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit Children’s Research Institute, the academic arm of Children’s National Medical Center, encompasses the translational, clinical, and community research efforts of the institution. Learn more about our research programs at


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