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Little off top helps cancer patient, 3, a lot in Shabbona

SHABBONA – Superman rode his motorcycle Saturday to Q Salon and Quinn’s Grooming Parlour for Men in Shabbona on a special mission – to shave his head for a boy in need.

The Man of Steel was among dozens who received a buzz cut during the Shave-a-Thon fundraiser, which benefitted Dylan Carey, 3, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on July 4. Neuroblastoma is a form of pediatric cancer that has spread to Dylan’s bone marrow.

The event raised $3,748 for the Carey family from haircuts and raffles. The family has numerous bills and medical expenses that need to be paid.

Dylan’s face lit up when Superman greeted him.

“It was awesome,” said Tyler Hunt, the man behind the costume. “That’s the whole reason why I did this.”

Family and friends wore Superman-themed shirts with the letter “D” replacing the famed “S” on the chest. Dylan loves superheroes, said his mom, Chris.

“The [Superman] movie was coming out when he was diagnosed, and he expressed interest,” Chris Carey said. “Then everyone started calling him ‘Super D.’ ”

Dylan has stage four high-risk neuroblastoma, which means there is a higher probability his cancer will come back. He receives chemotherapy for a week out of every month and visits the doctor twice a week.

Dylan is home for three weeks every month, and when he is, he’s a normal kid, Chris said. So normal, in fact, that he still plays outside with friends and rides his bike.

Stephanie Deutsch’s sons, 8-year-old Ronny and 6-year-old Luke, got their heads shaved because they wanted to support their friend.

They don’t know Dylan has cancer, but they know they can’t play with him when they are sick, Stephanie Deutsch said.

“[When they play together], it’s the same. Everything’s normal,” she said. “They ride bikes, try to catch bugs and play fireman … it’s very important to keep it normal because it helps him get through everything.”

Karen Carey, Dylan’s stepgrandmother, decided to shave her head as soon as she heard about the event. She even made a few headbands to wear afterward.

Dylan’s father, Tim, got his head shaved, too. When Dylan saw his bald dad, he said they were now twins, Samantha Hunt, event organizer said.

“He’s so happy today,” Hunt said. “It’s nice to see … he’s been poked and prodded for so long.”

Katie Quinn, co-owner of Q Salon, has known the Carey family since she was in high school. For her, hosting the fundraiser was the least she could do.

“Doing this is such a small thing to do,” Quinn said as she began to cry. “I would do anything I could [to help].”

Dylan will undergo a stem cell transplant after Labor Day in which his stem cells will be frozen and transplanted back into him 30 days later, Chris Carey said. This process will rejuvenate his stem cells.

To donate to the Carey family, purchase a "Super D" T-shirt at or send a check to the Dylan Carey fund at First State Bank, 203 W. Comanche Ave., Shabbona, IL 60665. All proceeds will benefit the Carey family.

Note to readers: An earlier version of this article misidentified event organizer Samantha Hunt. The Daily Chronicle regrets the error.

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