March & St. Baldrick’s: ‘Crazy, Hairy’ Time at NDA

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Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-W

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

At Notre Dame Academy, the hair situation has been a little crazy this month.

To honor St. Baldrick’s Day, students were given the option of paying to either not shave off their facial hair or to have a green strand inserted into their hair.

And a few students, during the St. Baldrick’s Day celebration on Friday, shaved their heads in solidarity for those suffering through chemotherapy. As for the rest of them, by Monday the 21st, everyone is expected to be clean shaven and natural hair colored as usual.

March 18,  2016.

“I was inspired because it’s a worthy cause,” explained freshman Ben Wiesner. “St. Baldrick’s is important to me because I had an aunt who died from breast cancer a few years ago.” Wiesner took advantage of the no shaving exception for the month.

Cole Cullen, a sophomore, also took part. “It’s kinda cool since people shave their hair and you can grow out facial hair instead.”

Cullen feels a personal connection to the program. “It means a lot because I have had multiple family members with cancer so the shavees mean a lot to me that they shave their head for cancer.”

Cullen wasn’t worried about how he looked with his facial hair, but his boss was a little concerned. “He is making me wear a beard net!” said Cullen.

Although he was concerned about how he’d look bald, shavee junior Stephen Lovell, said, “It wasn’t a super hard decision.  Like I said in the video, my hair’s blonde and it’s kind of disgusting.”

Being on the hockey team, Lovell bleached his hair with his teammates, and the color gave him the extra push he needed to participate. “I was actually planning on doing it senior year with my friend, but my hair wasn’t looking that great so I decided to do it early.”

Lovell has another reason behind his decision to shave his head. “My mom has cancer and she’s going through chemotherapy, so I’m really doing St. Baldrick’s for her.”

Shavees raised money for the cause, and Lovell reached much more than his goal of a thousand dollars. “I did exceed my goal by over five hundred dollars.”

Lovell wasn’t nervous about being on stage, but he was a little wary of how he’d look without all of his hair.

March 18,  2016.

“I did ask the lady to ‘leave as much hair on my head as possible’ and that’s why I have a little more than the other shavees,” he said.

Another shavee was Mr. Dunlap, who went a step further and even shaved off his beloved facial hair. “I was inspired six years ago when I first shaved my head for St. Baldrick’s. My wife was recovering from her bout with cancer, and I thought it was a good idea to show my support.”

A veteran of the program, Dunlap said, “This time around, I felt cancer is still here and needs to be taken care of. The money I can raise will help find a cure for cancer sooner rather than later.”

A death in his church community also helped to inspire him.  He said the big deal was shaving off his mustache:  “I haven’t been without it for 28 years.”

Indeed, his wife, Char Dunlap, has never seen him without it.

Dunlap has already doubled his goal of three hundred dollars and hopes to raise even more money for the cause. “

St. Baldrick’s is a means for me to ‘give back’ in support for a cure for cancer.  I also work the Breast Cancer Family Foundation annual bicycle ride for the same reason. This year The Titletown Bike Tour will be on Sunday July 10th. Contact me if you want more information.”

St. Baldrick’s is a worthwhile cause that offers many different ways of giving back to the community and those suffering. As Wiesner said, “This month is a reminder to all of us to be thankful for our health and live everyday like it’s your last.”

In addition to the head shavings on St. Baldrick’s Day, junior Katie Gapinski told her inspiring story of childhood cancer.

March 18,  2016.