Rutgers students raise $5,000 for children with cancer
Every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with a form of cancer. Standing in solidarity with these children, Rutgers students raised money at St. Baldrick's Battle of the Bald by shaving their heads.
The Battle of the Bald consisted of 14 students who volunteered to shave their heads on Dec. 2, said School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior Daniel Chulak, who participated in the event. Roughly $4,440 were raised on the day of, with additional donations pushing the total to more than $5,000.
“I decided to participate because I want to make a difference and join the fight against childhood cancer. Every child deserves to grow up cancer free and if I could do anything to help it I will,” Chulak said.
The Battle of the Bald took place in the Livingston Student Center, with all proceeds going to St. Baldrick’s, an organization that donates funds to cancer research.
Students grew their hair out in preparation for the event. On Friday, more than 40 people attended the event, which featured music and food.
The purpose of the event was to show solidarity with children who have cancer and to raise funds for research, said School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Vladimir Carrasco, who participated in the event.
“I shaved my head for the children. I did it for all the children who don't have a choice but to be bald because of this terrible disease. I do this to raise awareness and funds for research, all in hope that we can beat cancer and give these kids the opportunity to live a full and healthy life,” Carrasco said.
Friends and family members of participants donated money, but volunteers also collected money outside of local businesses, he said.
Carrasco said even a small donation has the potential to help many children.
“I just want people to continue to donate even though Battle of the Bald has passed. Research still needs to be done until we find a cure,” he said. “You'll know that you helped a child fight this terrible disease.”
School of Arts and Sciences senior Katie Miller, who organized the event, said she did so after shaving her own head in February in remembrance of her late uncle.
“(A) representative at the foundation reached out to me and asked if I could start an event at Rutgers because he knew I loved my own experience so much. Now, this semester is my last semester at Rutgers and I had a lot going on so I wasn't sure if I should take on another thing, but St. Baldrick's has become this huge part of who I am so I knew I had to do it,” she said.
Miller began organizing the event in September and her only expectations were to have one person participate in shaving their head, she said.
The best part was watching 14 people contribute to an act of kindness.
“They are my rock stars, and truly hold a special place in my heart. I have this life motto and it is all about kindness and how easy, simple and especially contagious it is and to me this event was the perfect representation of that,” she said.
Chloe Dopico is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science and journalism and media studies. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum.