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‘The Bald and the Beautiful’ returns this week

| Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Bald and the Beautiful (TBAB), a campus event hosted by the club of the same name, will place in the LaFortune Student Center from Wednesday until Friday this week. The annual event raises money for pediatric cancer research while raising awareness for childhood cancer.

Grace Carroll, senior and co-chair of The Bald and the Beautiful, said the event takes place in the Dooley and Sorin rooms in the main lounge of LaFortune.

“We have over 15,000 participants in the event, and the event includes three parts,” Carroll said. “Firstly, there’s donating eight inches of your hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to make wigs for patients with cancer.”

“Then, you can also purchase colored hair extensions to support someone you know who has cancer,” she said. “There’s a different color for each type of cancer. Money raised from that goes to Memorial Hospital.”

The third part of the event involves shaving your head to walk in solidarity with those losing their hair due to chemotherapy, she said.

“There is a minimum donation to have your head shaved and also a minimum donation for a T-shirt,” Carroll said. “The money raised from that goes to St. Baldrick’s Foundation. So there are three different parts that go to three different organizations.”

According to Carroll, TBAB began in 2009 when a group of students came together after their friend was diagnosed with cancer.

“They wanted to do something to support him,” Carroll said. “It started as a small group of students that were very dedicated, but each year it grew and grew. This will be our seventh year, and we’ve raised over $200,000 for Memorial Hospital in South Bend.”

While TBAB started as a small student-run event, participants later formed the club in order to organize the event each year, she said.

“The students wanted the event to be something long-term that, even after they graduated, would take place at Notre Dame every spring,” Carroll said. “So to ensure its longevity, The Bald and The Beautiful became a club.”

The Bald and the Beautiful is meant to be an event that unites the entire Notre Dame and South Bend community, Carroll said.

“We have about 50 people from Memorial Hospital coming Wednesday, and, at the same time, we have players on the football team come and shave their heads,” Carroll said. “Stylists from around the area donate their time, as well as Frank, the barber from University Stylings. Also, three area restaurants are donating food for participants.”

Carroll said cancer, as a disease that is diagnosed in children around the world once every three minutes, is a disease that needs a lot of attention.

“Everyone is affected by cancer in some way and we wanted to be able to do something about it,” Carroll said. “As college students, trying to find the cure for cancer is just an overwhelming question. This event is something small. In the grand scheme of things, your hair isn’t that big a deal, but when you have cancer, losing your hair is everything, especially for a child.”

The money raised by TBAB will go towards a specific local project, the club decided.

“We’ve decided that the money we’ve raised over the past six years, and will continue to raise, will go specifically towards a room in that oncology room called The Bald and the Beautiful room,” she said. “This room will have toys and games for patients who are undergoing chemo and their siblings.”

Carroll said she wants to specifically applaud the six women who are planning to shave their heads over the course of the three days.

“The decision to be in solidarity with those who lose their hair to cancer treatment takes a lot of courage,” she said.


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