NEWTON — It was a promise made more than a year ago, and on Sept. 27, Sheila Fedoruk made good on her pledge to shave her head if the students at W.E. Kinvig Elementary could raise $500 for cancer research.
With more than $2,324 raised, Fedoruk, whose granddaughter and grandson attend the school, shed her locks in the school’s packed gymnasium.
“My ears are a little cold but that’s about it.”
Fedoruk made her promise after seeing one of the school’s teachers have his head shaved last year.
“They did really well last year and so afterwards I said to him, ‘I could do it, I’ll do it next year.’”
And while some may be somewhat vain when it comes to losing their hair, Fedoruk said she had all the motivation in the world going into it.
“My mother passed away from leukemia years ago and I’ve always had it in my heart to do something, but I don’t have a lot of money so I wondered what I could do to help find a cure,” she said. “I’ve lost a lot of friends as well and this past year I’ve been supporting a little fella who’s been battling leukemia so this opportunity came about and I just came through those doors and went with it. I was honoured to do it and would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Following her shearing, Fedoruk will continue her presence at the school, where she’s been volunteering for the past eight years when her first granddaughter began kindergarten. With two more grandchildren at the school, Fedoruk said she doesn’t expect to be leaving anytime soon.
“I love the kids there, they’re great there,” she said. “It’s an inner-city school and they all call me ‘Grandma Sheila.’”
As for the amount raised, which ended up at almost five times her initial goal, Fedoruk said she never imagined her fundraising would bring in nearly $2,500.
“I was absolutely floored. A lot of my friends donated and I think some of their motivation was to see me bald,” she said with a laugh.
Fedoruk added that she hoped others would follow her example and get involved in fundraising or volunteering, one way or another.
“All I can think is to support wherever you can. Do what you can and eventually I think there’s going to be a cure for cancer,” she said.
“I would encourage everyone to do whatever they can to help find that because it’s so rampant and it’s hard to watch people die from it, it’s hard to watch people battle it and, in the grand scheme of things, what’s a haircut?”
© Copyright 2013