Going Bald for St. Baldricks

Hunter Labas vouches to shave his head for cancer awareness.

This QR code will lead to more information about St. Baldricks.

This QR code will lead to more information about St. Baldricks.

By Samantha Webb

39.5% of people are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and approximately 6,000 are children ages 15-19. A parent’s worst fear is that diagnosis. They have to watch their child go through one of the worst illnesses of our time. 

When starting chemotherapy or radiation, doctors remind patients that their hair will start to come out in clumps. As described by some, realizing they have cancer starts with the first strand. Cancer patients experience depression at a much higher rate and one of the reasons is the loss of their hair. 

Wig companies around the world have started making wigs for free to provide for cancer patients. However, there is one problem. These companies need materials for their wigs, which is where St. Baldricks joins the cause.

Tim Kenny, John Bender, and Enda McDonnell founded the St. Baldrick’s foundation in 1999, to quote, “ give back their good fortune in business.” And for years, the Huntley community hosted its own event. This year the event will be Friday, March 3 at Marlowe Middle School and Saturday, March 4 at Pinecrest.

Science teacher Hunter Labas has decided that he will be participating in that event and shaving his head. During quarantine, he had grown out his hair and is usually recognized for it. 

“I’ve grown an attachment to it so I’ve certainly second-guessed what I’ve decided but, I remind myself that I’m doing this for others, ” Labas said. 

The ability to do this for some of the struggling students has influenced others to join Labas, who has participated and volunteered in the event for a couple of years now. Many think about fundraisers for cancer as solemn, but St. Baldricks’ goal is the exact opposite.

They create a very social environment. When someone cuts their hair or shaves their head, there is an eruption throughout the event, cheering for the courage someone had to go through with their decision. 

“The environment is so positive and so hyped up; everyone is so kind,” Labas said. 

The hardships of these students are in no way comparable to the minor inconvenience of losing your hair, which is why so many decide to try and make these brave people’s lives just a little bit better. But, Labas does not want this to be about him, he is doing this for them. 

“We have to remember that this isn’t for our own pride, this is for students that are struggling,” Labas said. 

So go. Shave your head or cut your hair. It will grow back.