HIGH POINT, N.C., April 9, 2014 – A group of High Point University students recently gathered at the campus amphitheater to cut off their locks for the annual “Cuts for Cancer” event on April 5. The program, now in its fourth year, allowed participants, or “angels,” to each donate at least eight inches of hair that will be made into wigs for cancer patients who otherwise can’t afford them.
All of the “angels” donating hair knew someone impacted by cancer, and a few of them shared what it meant to be involved. Haley McKeown, HPU freshman class president, then presented each of the seven “angels” a yellow rose as a participatory gift – a symbol for good cheer and well-wishes. Participants who donated hair received free haircuts and styles from Avanti Salon and Spa in High Point. In addition, participants were allowed to nominate a friend, family member, faculty or staff member to make the initial cut.
The announcer proclaimed, “3, 2, 1, CUT!” and hairdressers began snipping away. “At that moment,” says HPU senior Emily Dunn, “the silence is overcome by shouts of joy, tears, and smiles, and you realize you are changing someone’s life.”
Four years ago, Dunn organized the first Cuts for Cancer event on campus. “The very first time I donated, my dad, who beat cancer, was sitting behind me, making the ‘honorable cut,’ and seeing how much it meant to him, it truly felt in some crazy way like a healing process. I would do anything to give everyone that same opportunity.”
She adds, “With High Point University’s full support, we have been able to provide moments that are priceless, full of healing and celebration, in the process of directly changing a stranger’s life.”
Junior Kyler Bradley, the only male to donate, started growing out his hair two years ago in preparation for the event. “Close family friends have struggled with the battle against cancer and I wanted to contribute… No one gets the choice to accept cancer or not, and I wanted to support those that have gone through this difficult journey.”
The hair is sent to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a nonprofit committed to improving the quality of life for people facing cancer.