Be brave and shave: St. Balderick’s raises money for cancer research
April 17, 2012 • Madeline Jordan, Features Writer
Filed under Features
Britney Spears went bald for attention. Some men go bald for style or convenience. Stephanie Henderson, however, shaved her head for very different reasons. After seeing a pitch for St Balderick’s charity on the TV show The Doctors, Henderson, a junior, chose to change up her look in order to raise money for various cancer charities.
“[Shaving my head] was suggested on the show, so I figured, why not?” Henderson said. “It seemed like a really simple way to try to raise money for charity.”
According to Henderson, St. Balderick’s teams up with various charities in the world in order to raise money for cancer research. In order to earn grants, participants can shave their head at a St. Balderick’s location or through a virtual event. Through a virtual event, Henderson set up a page through St. Balderick’s for sponsors to click on and donate money to.
“I went to my friend’s house to shave my head. At first I was worried because being bald is something I’ve never experienced before, but then I thought about the cancer patients who don’t have hair, and the process went smoothly from there,” Henderson said.
Henderson says people were curious as to why she shaved her head, but when they learned it was for charity they were very supportive.
“Everyone was really nice and wanted to touch it, which I think that’s really different from kids who have cancer,” Henderson said. “I think people act really differently around kids who have cancer, as though they’re very fragile, but children with cancer are very strong and they have to be because of what they’re dealing with.”
Henderson says cancer has had a personal impact on her life and played a part in her decision to lose all her hair.
“My great aunt died of cancer a few years ago and I remember it was hard for all of us [my family], so she definitely influenced my decision,” Henderson said.
Henderson is not the only LZ teen who has been affected by cancer. Jake Gadomski, junior, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2004 and lost his hair in the chemotherapy process. He had worked with St.Balderick’s before and was impressed by Henderson’s haircut.
“I am completely honored [as a cancer patient],” Gadomski said. “It just shows that there are some great people out there willing to take risks for charity.”
Henderson believes people put too much emphasis on the way they look, and while being bald feels weird sometimes, she says she does not regret her decision.
“Fighting through challenges makes you stronger, and I was doing it to help others,” Henderson said.
Henderson says shaving her head was fun, but it also taught her a valuable lesson.
“People can make very small sacrifices,” Henderson said, “that can make a lasting impact and help people in unimaginable ways.”