Students, faculty, and staff came together on Friday, April 13, to raise cancer awareness and to donate to Fairfield University’s chapter of Students for St. Baldrick’s.
Fairfield’s fourth annual “Brave the Shave” event took place from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Lower Level of the Barone Campus Center, where 44 students had their heads shaved in honor of those suffering from childhood cancer.
Participant Margaret Morell, who donated 10 inches of her hair, said, “Cancer has affected my life through a number of different family members and family friends. This past year, my mom's cousin passed away from stomach cancer and that really affected our family. This year, I also got a lot closer with a friend who had cancer as a child. Seeing her go through some medical issues now has made me realize how lucky I am that I am healthy, and has helped me want to discover what I can do to help.”
Whether participants decided to shave their head, volunteer, or donate, everyone in attendance showed their support for Students for St. Baldrick’s, which raised approximately $10,000 for childhood cancer research – $2,000 more than its goal. This year’s “Brave the Shave” event was co-sponsored by Sabita Holistic Center, Alchemy, The Salon, and Sportsclips.
Fairfield’s chapter of Students for St. Baldrick's, which currently is made up of 177 active members on OrgSync, host smaller fundraisers throughout the year, including grilled cheese sales and apparel sales. Students for St. Baldrick's President Brendan Hunt ’18 explained that the organization also hosts awareness campaigns around campus at locations such as outside Einstein’s Bros. Bagels and the Information Desk. The group visits various residence halls and utilizes their social media platforms to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
“Each year, I'm incredibly proud and humbled by the involvement of the Fairfield community. We have consistently come together to help find a cure for kids' cancer,” said Hunt.
“Many of my friends have come up to me and said that they want to participate next year. After participating, I see the impact we can all have,” said Morrell. “My friend who fought cancer as a child and had a wig, said, ‘That is going to make someone feel so much more comfortable.’ That was the moment that meant the most to me, because this is a person who has been through what the person who will receive my hair is going through. She was a representative of the person I was going to be helping.”