It has been 11 years since cancer claimed Henry Cermak’s young life, but his smile and spirit live on.
Henry’s family is now helping other kids fight this deadly disease.
“He was intelligent, he was caring, he was loving..he was full of life he was curious,” says Terry cermak, Henry’s father.
Henry Cermak was a joy to his father and everyone around him, but in 2006 Terry Cermak noticed something was wrong.
“He started throwing up in the pool,” rememers Terry. “We knew at that point it was going to be something. We just didn’t know how bad it would be.”
“He was scheduled for surgery immediately. We were looking at a lot fo x-rays and stuff, we were astonished at how large this thing was.”
Terry had to be strong for Henry.
“We’ll get through this. We’ll do what it takes. Hes strong and we care more about him than we do anything else in the world, We are going to move mountains.”
“He was the first one to embrace the challenges. he was leading us most of the way.”
“When something didnt work his question was well, whats my next treatment.”
But eventually doctors say there was no, “next treatment” for Henry.
“He said i’ll do what you want me to, but its not going to work. Nothing is going to work.”
“We kept his room the way it was until we had to break it down for Hurricane Matthew.”
While mourning at home, Terry and Cynthia decided they needed to celebrate Henry’s spirit in public, one head of hair at a time. Through an annual St Baldrick’s fundraising and head shaving event.
“At first it was just going to be me, i’m going to shave my head and make that statement, I’m the dad im going to shave my head, if people want to give me money, ”
Now this annual tradition allows his parents to celebrate, and has raised thousands to battle chioldhood cancer.
This bench overlooking the water at Hilton Head Plantation a way for them to reflect and remember..
“We want people to remember Henry, to remember what a great kid he was what a smart kid he was, and what a caring person he was. And how the world is in fact a different place because he was here.”
The Cermak’s have been holding their St Baldrick’s event near St Patrick’s Day on Hilton Head for the past six years.
They have raised more than $100,000 for the Henry Cermak Fund for Pediatric Cancer benefitting hospitals around the country.
To donate to Henry’s Fund: