The Beauty of The Bald and The Beautiful

Last week, if you walked into Lafun, you passed through a scene of bald heads and short hair. If you were lucky enough to be there on Wednesday night, you got to see ND football players and little kids. Little kids who are cancer patients at Memorial Hospital here in South Bend.

If you ever want to be inspired, volunteer at the Bald and the Beautiful. I got to be a part of this planning team all semester, but only figured I could help out one out of the three nights the event is held. After I volunteered the first day, you could not keep me away. It was so inspirational each day to see people come up, donate their money, and walk away bald, or with eight inches less of hair. I got to hear the conversations as people picked out what color hair extension they wanted because their grandma had passed away from cancer or their dad was a cancer survivor.

I think if you talked to every student on this campus, they could tell you their own story about how cancer has affected their lives. It takes away the best people, it catches us off guard, and it leads to days of pain and suffering. There is no adjective to really put into words the horror of it and I can’t justify it either since I have not experienced it myself, but only through loved ones.

This is what I loved about the Bald and the Beautiful. It opened up the beauty of people’s hearts and their support of those who are suffering. Shaving your head, cutting your hair, getting a hair color that you may not have been caught dead with a few years ago- it all says we are all in this together. It says I am here and I am fighting with you.

For those of you who don’t know Dr. Veselik, the advisor of biology majors, shaved his head during a cell bio class (it also happened to be my cell bio class). A tradition he has done for many of the six years the event has been around. Dr. V got shaved and then opened up the chair for anyone else. Slowly students got out of their seats and came down to the hot spot to become bald, spontaneously, for most of them - there was even a girl who got half of her head shaved. It was incredible to see how people were moved by each other’s actions. At 12:30 when class began, the two guys I was with told me hell no to getting their head shaved, by the end of class they were on the edge of their seats.

The Bald and the Beautiful started on campus six years ago when a student in Duncan passed away from cancer and his friends started the event. This is why Duncan Hall has the highest dorm participation each year and walks over together as a dorm in their green blazers to be shaved. The money from the head shavings goes to St. Baldrick’s Foundation - a national cancer organization that holds head shaving events like this across the country. The money from the hair donations and hair extensions, in addition to the bags of hair, goes to Memorial Hospital’s pediatric cancer unit. This year the money will go towards decorating and supplying toys and video games for the playroom in the pediatric cancer wing.

If you have watched Stuart Scott’s speech at the ESPY awards, he mentions how the most important thing in his fight with cancer was the moments when he was too tired to fight anymore, but he knew that that people around him were fighting for him. This is why people TBAB. This is why it is so awesome to see the bald heads around campus now. Because we all fight cancer together and we all support those in their fight.

Thank you to all those who participated in TBAB and big shoutout to the incredible club led by awesome co-chairs who made the event the success it was! You can still donate at and check out our newsletter for updates on the success of the event and awesome TBAB stories!

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All images provided by TBAB team and author