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Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

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Carole Trottere
School of Medicine
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Date: Mar 13, 2013

St. Baldrick's Foundation's head shaving event raises funds for childhood cancer

Med Students Show Solidarity & Support for Children with Cancer by Going Bald for Charity

Chris Gidiscin

Hempstead, New York—Fifteen students from the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine volunteered to have their heads shaved as part of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s head shaving fundraiser for childhood cancer.

The act of shaving their heads is meant to show solidarity with kids fighting cancer, who may not have the choice due to chemotherapy. Leading up to the date of the event each “shavee” raises funds, which are donated to support pediatric oncology research.

Robert W. Squiers, a first year med student, says he volunteered to be a “shavee” in honor of his daughter’s aunt, Susan, who at age nine suffered from a malignant brain tumor. Susan survived, but still suffers from complications from the experimental chemotherapy that she was treated with back in the 1970’s.

“I am participating in honor of Susan, whose courage and will to endure is something I only hope to have as I become a physician,” said Robert.

The first and second year med students are lead by team Captain Michael Murn. The other students include Brooke Nelson, Rachel Mogil, Alexander Blood, Kevin Smith, Brian Dulmovits, Jeffrey Goldstein, Won “Buddy” Lee, Andrew Ng, Fiore Mastroianni, Zachary Hahn, Brad Faliks, Chris Gidiscin and Nick Petit.

Brooke Nelson and Rachel Mogil both donated their hair to Locks Of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

For Rachel, this is the third time she has donated her hair to Locks of Love. She does it in memory of a high school friend who lost her battle with cancer.

“She ended up losing her hair from chemo, and I thought then that I'd donate my hair so that it could go to someone who needed it more than I did,” Rachel said. “I felt that, even if I couldn't personally help her in that way, I might be able to help someone else. After she passed, I decided I'd make it one of the things I continued to do as a way to give back.”

“I am proud to donate my time, energy, and hair to this great cause in a gesture of solidarity with these kids and families who endure so much,” said second-year student A.J. Blood. As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins, Blood worked in the Child Life department at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, spending time with children and their families and focusing on improving their stays through social interaction and play therapy.

“This was a great way to understand the course of an illness from the patients perspective,” he said. “As a physician in training and a researcher, I am learning how we can help these children and families in the course of their medical conditions.”
For team Captain Murn, this will be the second time he has shaved his head as part of St. Baldrick’s Day.

“I first got involved in honor of my mother who is a two time breast cancer survivor,” said. “Her resiliency and determination throughout the treatment and recovery process played a large part in making me the person I am today.”

“I am very proud of our students who are giving so selflessly to this important cause,” said Dean Lawrence Smith. “They always take the initiative and give back to others, without even thinking twice about it.”

If you would like to support the med students by donating, please visit their team website.