Pictured: Dean Shane Speights, D.O., shaves the head of Nic Harriel at the Shave to Save event in Jonesboro.
Heads were shorn, pies were thrown and, most importantly, thousands of dollars were raised for a great cause. On April 19, NYITCOM-Arkansas students hosted the second-annual “Shave to Save” and raised more than $8,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the world’s largest private funder of childhood cancer research.
Student doctors solicited donations from friends and family. Many of those who reached their fundraising goal shaved their heads, while others cut their hair short and donated their locks to organizations that make wigs for cancer patients. Several NYITCOM-Arkansas faculty members, including Site Dean Shane Speights, D.O., took whipped cream pies to their faces after reaching their goals. Additionally, local restaurants Tacos 4 Life and Newk’s hosted fundraisers and donated a portion of one evening’s receipts to St. Baldrick’s.
Arkadiy Kusayev, OMSI, delivers a pie to the face of Regina Fleming, D.O., assistant professor and vice chairperson of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.
According to the National Pediatric Foundation, only 4 percent of federal government cancer research funding goes towards pediatric cancer studies, so events like Shave to Save are incredibly important to fill the funding gap. This year, St. Baldrick’s partnered with the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) at seven medical schools across the country, including NYITCOM-Arkansas, to host Shave to Save events.
NYITCOM-Arkansas SOMA President-Elect Nic Harriel helped organize the event and had his head shaved as part of the festivities. He’s proud of the work he and his classmates did to support such a worthy cause.
“No child should have to worry about their security in this life, and St. Baldrick’s takes that idea and makes it an objective,” Harriel said. “That’s why I care so much about raising funds for them and continuing the partnership between NYITCOM-Arkansas and St.Baldrick’s. Students, faculty, and staff came together with community members to have a lot of fun while raising money that we know will make an impact.”
By Casey Pearce