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Dozens Shave Heads to Support Cancer Research

March 22, 2013

Dozens of people got a haircut for a good cause on Thursday.

People lined the chairs at the Biltmore in Charlottesville, waiting for their ponytails and braids to be clipped off and their heads to be shaved. It's part of an annual event put on by University of Virginia students to raise money for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

"For people to be able to participate in tonight it really is their way of connecting and their way of making a difference when they feel like they can't make a difference," said organizer Sydney Delmar.

Leighanne Blevins was one of more than 100 people who showed up with hair, but walked away bald and beautiful. Her inspiration was her son, Ethan, who passed away from leukemia in August.

"He told me before he passed away that he wanted me to shave my head during our birthdays together," said Blevins. "He's here with me tonight, though. I know he is."

Colleen Mastrandea also came out to participate, with her motivation right by her side. Her daughter, Norah, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. And even with her mom's new look, Norah says the support is something she can appreciate.

"I'm proud of her," Norah said about her mom.

Organizers were hoping to raise $80,000 during the event, and they surpassed that, bringing in about $84,000 for childhood cancer research.

"There isn't enough childhood cancer research money or research being done for children. They can't advocate for themselves, so it's up to all of us to advocate for them," said Mastrandea.

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