Pierce shaves her head for childhood cancer research

Betsy Pierce shaved her head to show her support and raise money for kids battling childhood cancer. People can donate $20 to have Pierce wear a hat of their choice. Vanguard Photo | Nicole Vogelpohl

Betsy Pierce, the acting assistant dean of the Scott L Carmona College of Business and Management, shaved her head to show her support for children suffering from cancer.

“The organization we raise money for is Saint Baldrick’s,” Pierce said. “We raise money and then near Saint Paddy’s Day, we shave our heads in solidarity for kids with cancer because they don’t have a choice.”

Pierce has shaved her head three times before, and this is her first time doing it at SVSU. Before coming to SVSU, Pierce was an immunologist studying chronic lung disease following bone marrow transplants, and it was with her colleagues there that she began to shave her head.

“I started doing this with my colleagues at Rainbow Children’s Hospital at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio,” Pierce said. “Every year, they hold a shaving event in the hospital and bring the kids down from the ward so they can see us shaving.”

Pierce is raising money for cancer research; the money will be sent to various laboratories around the world. According to Pierce, it’s important to fund this research in order to one day stop cancer.

“Cancer, in general, is devastating to families,” she said. “But childhood cancer is even more devastating. Children have enough to worry about without having to fight for their lives because of cancer. Helping to fund this type of research may someday help us stop cancer in its tracks.”

To raise money, students and faculty can donate $20, and Pierce will wear a hat of their choosing. Amy Hendrickson, an associate professor of law, is helping spread the word about Pierce’s campaign.

“I am primarily helping by letting people know about it and suggesting outrageous hats they could have her wear,” Hendrickson said. “Who wouldn’t want to see their professor wearing a pirate hat or a Burger King crown?”

According to Hendrickson, what Pierce is doing is important and impactful in the lives of those suffering from cancer.

“I hope people will support her because money that is donated for research makes a difference in the quality of life for kids,” Hendrickson said. “I also think that this light-hearted approach shows the fighting spirit and sense of hope that we should have about being able to make a difference.”

Finding a way to give back and help is essential to Hendrickson.

“SVSU is a community where we care about people, so finding small ways to do our part is really important,” she said.

Pierce’s hat campaign will continue until the end of this semester, and those who have her wear a hat will receive a selfie of Pierce wearing it.

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