Last Friday afternoon, the LSC Atrium was filled with laughter and music as several students lined up to get their hair cut for a worthy cause.
The JCU student senate class of 2016 hosted the event, called Buzz Away Lymphoma, to raise money for The Lymphoma Research Fund and raise awareness about the disease.
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects immune system cells called lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help fight infections. The cancer develops when a person’s lymphocytes enter a state of uncontrolled cell growth.
Class of 2016 senator Pat Waldron was diagnosed with lymphoma a few weeks prior to the event. Fortunately, Waldron has a form of lymphoma that is very treatable.
“I found out [about the event] via a group email just a few days before the event went public,” said Waldron. “When I found out, I was so amazed that they would do something in my honor that it brought me to tears. It made me realize that I had made great friends here at John Carroll. Then to hear how well it did made me realize just how many people care about me. I’ve seen events in the atrium fail many times, but this truly was a success all around for lymphoma research.”
Sophomore Connor Hines, a member of the class of 2016 senate, shared the inspiration behind the event.
“We had been thinking originally about what we were going to do to give back to the community and our class, and it just so happens that Pat had been diagnosed only a few weeks earlier. [The senators] all got together and brainstormed what we were going to do, and we came up with this idea of ‘buzzing away lymphoma.’”
“We were really excited to be able to host an event for him to raise money and support him in what he’s going through,” said class of 2016 senator Emily Wach.
Students could get haircuts for $5 or bracelets with the phrase “PatStrong” printed on them for $1.
“The bracelets are a great, visible way to say, ‘Hey Pat, we are all here for you, and we are all thinking of you,’” said Wach.
“We are all here today,” said Hines. “The entire community at John Carroll is keeping Pat in our thoughts and prayers.”
“It’s so cool that our community puts events on like this one,” said sophomore Christina Iafelice, who attended the event. “It’s so cool that we can come together as a community and raise money for one our own. This sort of thing really changes lives.”
Class of 2016 senator Cole Hassey gave haircuts to other Blue Streaks.
“I’ve been cutting hair for a while now, so it was really cool that we were all able to come together and use our talents to help our really close friend,” said Hassey. “Lymphoma is something that affects real people every day, even college students like us.”
“They caught it at a very early stage for Pat,” Hassey explained. “So that’s a really good sign. He has really good chances of being cured.”
The event raised nearly $200 for The Lymphoma Research Fund.
“I want to thank all the senators who came up with the idea and carried it out,” said Waldron. “But I also want to thank anyone who participated in any way. It made me feel a lot better after a tough day of treatment. I’m not afraid of what’s ahead anymore. I will beat this thing. But now I know I have an entire campus fighting with me.”