Kids lose hair for cancer research

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 8, 2005

On March 31, four Nansemond-Suffolk Academy students walked into the RiRa Irish Pub in Raleigh. When they walked out, they were a few pounds lighter up top.

The four eighth-graders had just donated an hour of their time and a head’s worth of hair to the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser to fight childhood cancer.

In the weeks leading up to the event, Hunt Odom, Ben Willis, Carter Pearson and Christian Upchurch asked around to friends and family to donate for the cause. By the time the day rolled around, each had brought in roughly $2,000.

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Willis was the first to go bare-headed.

&uot;It took about five minutes,&uot; he said. &uot;I didn’t think it was that bad, but I was starting to feel really cold.&uot;

Watching his pal get shaved, Upchurch tried to keep his composure.

&uot;I didn’t think Ben looked too good,&uot; he said.

When Upchurch finally got in the chair, Odom got a chance to sharpen his own apprentice barber skills – he sheared off a line of Upchurch’s mane.

&uot;I was so scared,&uot; Upchurch said. &uot;I thought he would cut my ear off!&uot;

By the time it was his turn, Odom was ready to go.

&uot;I think mine ended up looking better than all three of them,&uot; he said.

Going hairless has its ups and downs, Upchurch remarks.

&uot;It burns if it’s hot outside,&uot; he said, &uot;but you’re always the first to know if it’s raining!&uot;

By day’s end, the event had brought in $48,500 for cancer research. All four Saints said that they planned to go back next year, and maybe bring a few friends along for the trip.