Inspiring Teens: Buzz Cuts for Cancer

Amy Jo Jones
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This is Kate. Kate is a normal 16-year-old high school student. She likes music, keeping up with friends on Facebook, and -- she shaved off all her hair.

She didn't do it to be rebellious or to make a fashion statement; she did it to help kids. She did it because of Buzz Cuts for Cancer.

Buzz Cuts for Cancer began in Shorewood, Wisconsin, in 2005 as a fun and unique way for Shorewood High School to support a local charity. All of the money raised through Buzz Cuts for Cancer goes to the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund, which is a Milwaukee-based organization dedicated to funding childhood cancer research.

Toward the end of the school year, a total of 54 students (half of them girls!) participated in Buzz Cuts for Cancer at Shorewood High. Kate approached her friends and family and asked them to donate to the cause. In exchange for buzzing off her thick, wavy mane of hair, she wanted to achieve a personal goal of raising $1,000 for the MACC fund. 

A grandmother (or two) in Kate's family may have raised a skeptical eyebrow at the idea, but in the end, everyone she asked was moved by her spirit and her selflessness -- not only did Kate meet her goal, but she personally raised $1,225.

On the day of the event, students like Kate with longer hair reported to have their hair braided, cut, and sent to Locks of Love. At 3 p.m., local stylists volunteered their time to buzz away what was left. (Kate is all smiles, but Kate's mother may or may not have cried while she was taking this picture.)

In total, the students raised over $10,000! Kate sent an email after it was all done thanking her supporters and saying, "Your support of my decision to shave my head has been overwhelming, and while it is a big change for me, it is just hair. I can already notice it growing back!"


Kate and her sister and her new look

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