Shear power: Going bald to save lives

Bald is beautiful, especially when it helps save children's lives. That's the idea behind St. Baldrick's Foundation, a charity that sponsors headshaving events across the country that have raised more than 100 million dollars for childhood cancer research since 2005.

The UVA chapter of St. Baldrick's is gearing up for the annual event taking place March 21 at The Biltmore Grill on the Corner, and 94 "shavees" have already raised more than $54,000 in pledges of the $80,000 goal. The event organizer, UVA fourth year Sydney Delmar, says it's not too late to get on board the bald wagon.

"We encourage people to sign up first so they have time to raise money," she says, "but we can also take 'walk-ins.'"

Delmar got involved with St. Baldrick's two years ago after learning a family friend's child had died of cancer. "It's very close to my life," she says, noting that her involvement in St. Baldrick's has only increased her passion for finding a cure. "Every day, I'm worrying about it," she says.

While headshaving may seem daring, particularly for women, the fact that children going through cancer treatment have no choice about going bald puts things in perspective for many of the participants.

"My hair is worth nothing compared to a child's life," read one of many signs created by participants at the 2012 event.

Delmar says if the goal is raising awareness, few things do so as well as a shaved head.

"It becomes a talking point for everyone," she says, recalling the questions she got in the weeks after she shaved her head in 2011. "You get a chance to tell people about the event and the charity."

To sign up to have your head shaved, to volunteer as a barber, or to make a donation, visit

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