BANGOR (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- She's a Maine mom on a mission.
Trenton resident Erica Durgin traveled Sunday to Washington, DC, with her sister. The two will be joining forty-five more "Mommas" for the "Shave for the Brave" event, standing in solidarity with childhood cancer survivors, and their families.
The group the duo will be joining all have children diagnosed with, in treatment for, or have lost a child to cancer.
The 46 women traveling to Washington represent the 46 women in North America, on average, who find out their child has cancer, every single day.
“I have a 19-year-old daughter who is a cancer survivor,” Durgin told NEWS CENTER Maine, at Bangor International Airport ahead of her trip. “She was diagnosed at the age of 12. Last year, in May 2017, we got to say she was cancer-free."
The women plan to speak with capitol hill legislators about getting the Star Act passed, which will enhance the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, and expand opportunities for research.
"I just want to be able to help all of the families that are going through this and make sure that the research is out there for their children,” says Durgin.
The mothers have been fundraising for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, the largest private foundation funding childhood cancer research.
"My sister and I have been fundraising for the past month-and-a-half and we've come up with sixteen hundred dollars to bring with us,” says Durgin.
But that's not all they're doing in D.C.
"The Mommas met up in 2014 in Boston and on a whim, my daughter and I went down, and I shaved my head,” Durgin tells NEWS CENTER Maine. “It's empowering to be able to do that, to be able to show your support.”
Durgin is planning to shave her head again Monday night. This time, in Washington, with the 46 Mommas team.
"This is my first trip with the Mommas and I was told to be prepared to cry, laugh,” says Durgin. “The moms need to get together and be able to talk about what they've gone through and this is a wonderful opportunity for that to happen."
Durgin says when her daughter was battling cancer, she felt as though no one in her community knew what she was going through. Since she began fundraising for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, and announced her trip to D.C., Durgin says people in the community have come forward with their own stories of being touched by childhood cancer, bringing her community even closer together.
"Anything I can do to help raise money and awareness, I'm all for it,” says Durgin. “Shaving my head is very empowering and I hope that people will understand that just because you're bald doesn't mean you're not beautiful. We can rock the bald. All the Mommas do."
Durgin plans to meet with Maine's congressional delegation on Tuesday, before flying back home.
"There are a lot that are not as lucky,” says Durgin, of families affected by childhood cancer. “I want to be able to go do this for those that aren't able to be there from [Maine]."