Milton Students Brave the Shave for St. Baldrick’s
by Anooshka Gupta on Friday, May 13th, 2016
On Monday, May 2nd, students crowded the bottom of the Student Center in anticipation. Not wanting to miss out on the excitement, upperclassmen lined the stairs and balconies trying to find a vantage point. It was time for the long-awaited St. Baldrick’s Foundation annual event. Five participants stood ready to get their heads shaved: Michael George (IV), Nick Zuccotti (IV), Alex Palacios-Santos (IV), Joy Lee (II), and more.
Every May, the student body collaborates to gather volunteers and donations to aid the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in finding cures for childhood cancer. St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer run charity, has taken on the battle to find a cure for childhood cancer. According to their website, “in the 1950s, almost all kids diagnosed with cancer died.” Now, many kids with common types of cancer survive; however, St. Baldrick’s is more specifically committed to finding cures for kids with a limited chance of survival. The medications and treatments used for adult cancer have negative long-lasting effects on kids. They want to prevent the lifelong damage that comes from treatments because of the kids’ still developing bodies. Survivors of childhood cancer are fifteen times more likely to develop a new type of cancer and seven times more likely than the rest of the population to die from heart problems. St. Baldrick’s has dedicated their research and funds towards breaking the cycle and creating a more positive outlook.
This year, Milton raised $7,000 to give to St. Baldrick’s. As students frequently find themselves surrounded by the Milton bubble, Solace Mensah-Narh (II) says that St. Baldrick’s “reminds people that there’s something bigger than them and that they should help something outside of themselves” because “a lot of people get fired up, especially when you see people shaving their heads.” The annual event helps raise awareness and knowledge of the different aspects of life that the Milton community doesn’t usually interact with.
Shavee Joy Lee (II) mentions how “cancer is a real issue and generally, people are somewhat ignorant to its damaging, lifelong effects unless they have a personal interaction with one who has had cancer.” As she thought more about the effects of cancer, she felt inspired to shave her head in the hope that she could contribute to childhood cancer research because of her personal encounters with people that have had cancer. From her experience, she’s learned the impact of visual representation because “you provide a unique, personal, and somewhat intimate basis of interaction for people to ask questions… and learn from” since you embody the cause you feel passionate about. Additionally, she hopes that the Milton community learn that one’s passions can’t be limited by society’s standards and that if one really cares about something, they should pursue it to the fullest extent.
Solace Mensah-Narh (II) hopes that in the future, the event continues to grow in terms of the number of participants with both more girls and boys contributing to the event.
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