Two Senior Girls Shave Heads for Childhood Cancer


Payton Van Pelt, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“I shave my head so that others without hair can have hair. I don’t really like my hair, so I hope someone else will,” stated senior Josey McClain.

Saint Baldrick’s is an event in which people shave their heads in order to support those who don’t have some of their own. The contestants fundraise money that is donated to children afflicted with cancer. This year, two senior girls decided they’d shave their heads for this good cause.

I saw my friends get their heads shaved in previous years, and this time I wanted to join them. Additionally, my motto for senior year is ‘Go big or go home.’ This was big. I also wanted to inspire people to try to do something out of their comfort zone,” said senior Katherine VanDenHuevel.

This was VanDenHuevel’s first time shaving her head. She had been mulling over the idea since around sophomore into junior year. Although she was nervous, her care for the kind act surpassed her fears.

“Most of my family and peers praised me. My mother tried to persuade me to not cut my hair, but I was adamant and she let me do it anyway,” she explained. “One of my uncles decided not to donate because he thought it was a bad idea.”

Regardless, VanDenHuevel managed to raise $164. Now she’s adapting to the shaved-head life.

“I’m feeling the breeze more. Showers are shorter. I have found that the most unnerving feeling in the world is putting on a hat and feeling the fabric brush against the individual bristles of hair. It’s awful,” she teased. “I don’t feel much about it besides the random urges to feel my hair. I’ve never cared a terrible lot about how others perceive me–though I still take good care of my appearance.”

Although this was her first time with a shaved head, VanDenHuevel had a friend with experience. Josey McClain has shaved her head four times for Saint Baldrick’s, including this year.

“Seeing how emotional first-timers get,” she explained,  “it’s amazing watching their faces as all their hair comes off. The first time I did it in 7th grade, when I looked into the mirror for the very first time, I cried. I love seeing that same emotion on other peoples’ faces.”

This year, she raised around $200. Although she’s not shaving her head to honor anyone in her life, you could argue she’s shaving her head for personal reasons.

I love shaving my head. I love not fitting into the norm of society and watching everyone look at me judgingly. I feel amazing and different,” explained McClain.

The first time shaving her head, Josey felt anxious about what others would think and loved to touch her newly shaved head. Yet, after her fourth time, she feels “empowered and carefree” and has grown accustomed to life without hair.

Last year may have been NDA’s final Saint Baldrick’s event. That was when Flaggy, the beloved maintenance man, spontaneously inspired the donation of over a thousand dollars in the Auditorium.

Since Sting Cancer organized the Saint Baldrick’s assembly, and Sting Cancer is no more a club at NDA, no such assembly occurred this year.  Thus VanDenHuevel and McClain shaved their heads at Saint Brendan’s Inn in downtown Green Bay.

Although it’s challenging doing something as bold as shaving your head, the two girls don’t seem to mind.

It’s another thing I can be proud of doing. It’s something I did to challenge myself,” said VanDenHuevel.

“It means a new start for my hair and a chance for others to have hair,” beamed McClain. “Hair doesn’t matter. Nobody will care what you look like if you decide to shave it all off.  Plus, it grows back super fast.”