Students to shave heads for childhood cancer

Angel Aranda (left) and Emily Bostick (right) will shave their heads if they reach their goal of raising $1,500 for childhood cancer charity St. Baldrick’s. (Photo by Brad Crofford)

By Brad Crofford, Editor-in-chief

Money can make you bald.

At least it can if you are Emily Bostick, Kimi Black or Angel Aranda. To help raise money for childhood cancer organization St. Baldrick’s, these three students will be shaving their heads if they can meet their goal of $1,500 by March 9.

“We shave our heads in solidarity with the kids who have to shave their heads,” Bostick, freshman elementary education major, said in an exclusive interview with The Echo. “We have the easy route though. They have to go through the treatments, and we are just shaving our heads.”

If they reach their goal, Black and Bostick will first donate as much of their hair as possible to non-profit organization Locks of Love, and then shave the remainder of their hair.

According to its website, Locks of Love “provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.”

These three students are participating for various reasons, including personal ones.

“My dad is diagnosed with cancer, and that was the catalyst,” Aranda said. “It’s personal because two other family members have it. I also am diagnosed with mylofibrosis.”

According to Aranda, mylofibrosis has some of the same symptoms and treatments as leukemia, including possible marrow transfusions or chemotherapy.

“I was tired of being complacent. I wanted to do something in a way everyone could see and help out,” Bostick said. “As a teacher, I am going to be affected by childhood cancer… I am going to do as much as I can now.”

“The reason I want to be a part of this is because I feel it is God’s calling for me to shave my head in solidarity for the children with cancer.  I feel this is the best way for us to raise money for them,” Black wrote in an email to The Echo.

They have raised money by sending letters and collecting donations through their page on St. Baldrick’s website. It has been difficult to raise money at businesses, Bostick said.

They hope to raise money on campus by organizing a penny war between the dorms in which dorms would compete with each other to donate the most money.

Childhood cancer causes more childrens’ deaths in the U.S. each year than any other disease, according to the St. Baldrick Foundation’s website. And yet, less than four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is directed toward childhood cancer research.

According to Bostick, less than one percent of money donated to the American Cancer Society goes to childhood cancer, and it is the same situation for government cancer funding.

Aranda, Black and Bostick are already planning for how they will deal with having their heads shaven.

“I am going around bald. No toupee for me,” Aranda said.

“Wigs are cheating,” Bostick said. “I bought some hats from Target on clearance that are real cute…it’s real cold outside, so I have hats for that. I am mostly planning on going around bald.”

Bostick encouraged students to come and watch their heads being shaved, which is planned for the evening of March 9 in Bud Robinson. The exact time is yet to be determined.