The cheers of students in the auditorium of Donald C. Jamieson Academy erupted Friday afternoon, Feb. 1, as three students entered the room.
Olivia Farrell, Taylor Crocker and Samantha Hollett traded their long locks for bright yellow toques and the feeling of having done something special.
They each have a family member whose life has been impacted by cancer.
Olivia, a Grade 6 student, raised almost $800 for the event. She said the first pass of the clippers through her hair was a weird experience.
She told The Southern Gazette her mother was not 100 per cent behind her decision to take part in the event at first.
“She wasn’t with me for a while, but I eventually pulled her in to let me do it,” she said.
Olivia’s mom, Karen Fizzard, agreed she did have some hesitation when she learned that her daughter wanted to take part in the Shave for the Brave.
“I was a little bit uneasy first,” she explained. “I wasn’t sure if she was after thinking it through, but she’s been talking about it for a while, so when I knew that she really wanted to do it, I was OK with it.”
Fizzard noted that her daughter’s grandfather lost a kidney to cancer and her great-uncle lost a battle with cancer.
Taylor, who is in Grade 5, lost her grandmother to cancer.
“I just wanna help find a cure and give a wig to (young) people with cancer,” she said.
Along with doing the Shave for the Brave, Taylor also donated her hair to an organization that makes wigs for children diagnosed with or recovering from cancer.
Taylor said as the clipper went through her hair the first time all she could think was, “Oh my god, it feels so weird.”
She collected over $4,500 for the event.
Taylor’s mom, Krista Crocker, is proud of her daughter for taking part in the shave.
“Taylor has been since last year asking me to set this fundraiser up for her,” she explained. “I was a little bit hesitant at first. I just wanted to make sure that she was mature enough to understand that it was for a cause, as opposed to just for the sake of shaving her head.”
Crocker added that her daughter watched her grandmother go through and lose her fight with cancer a little over two years ago.
“They were really close,” Crocker said.
Samantha took part in the event in memory of her Nan Hooper, raising $480.
The Grade 6 student said not having hair is going to take some getting used to.
“My head feels really cold,” she said.
She said it took some convincing for her parents to agree to let her shave her head.
“I kept asking until they said yes,” she said.
Samantha is already hoping this is something she can do again in the future.
“I think it’s a really good idea for someone to take part in because some people can’t do as many things as we can because they have cancer,” she said.
Her mother, Lori Hollett, said her daughter was very brave taking part in the event.
“I was very proud of her,” she said.
Hollett said in the future she would have no hesitation standing behind her daughter’s decision to take part in the Shave for the Brave.
“Maybe I’ll even think about doing it myself next time.”