Saddleback student’s dance and shave against cancer

One Saddleback College student chops off her braids for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Elizabeth Ortiz/ Lariat. Saddleback's director of outreach and recruitment shaves her head for a good cause in support of raising money for pediatric cancer research. Elizabeth Ortiz/Lariat Marianne Celeste said it's the first time ever that the cosmetology department has done an event like this. Lariat/ Elizabeth Ortiz Teddy Mora who DJ's for Power 106 came out to support the "Dance and Shave against Cancer" event. Lariat/ELizabeth Ortiz

Deciding to go bald for a good cause takes courage, like participating in a “Shave and Dance Against Cancer” event at Saddleback College, but it also takes going the distance of great lengths to raise funds to fight against pediatric cancer, which this event did on Wednesday, Oct. 29. And one Saddleback College staff member who shaved her hair said she remembers having to forego some drastic treatment to save her own life.

“I shaved to fight childhood cancer because it’s personal to me, I had a brain disorder and know what it’s like to be ill,”said Leslie Humphrey, director of outreach and recruitment. “This is going to such a worthy cause.”

Saddleback’s cosmetology school was in charge of the shave portion of the event.

“This is the first time the cosmetology department has been involved and the most fun we’ve had at an event,” said Marianne Celeste, head of cosmetology.

The other portion was the day-long relay dance marathon and the rules stated that there had to be at least two people on a team and one person had to dance on the floor at all times to be eligible to win a prize.

“I’m dedicating two hours today of non-stop dancing before I go to my exercise class on campus,” said Iman Moujtahed, 23, digital photography and English. “I also woke up early and stayed out very late, but it’s all worth it.”

Power 106’s Teddy Mora came to DJ and the Hollywood Photo Booth came to support the event,  bringing in a bigger crowd.

Cancer kills more children than any other disease or life-threatening illness combined, and St. Baldrick’s Foundation wants to help fight cancer by raising funds and awareness at Saddleback College.

“My son is fighting brain cancer and pediatric cancers in total receive less than four percent of all national governmental research funds,” said Audra DiPadova, director of student life. “It’s incredibly inadequate. We need more funding for essential research to find cures.”

An amount of $27,226.25 was raised last year on campus with over 88 people participating in the shave portion of the event. This spring the Student Development office is looking to exceed such victory.

Elizabeth, I believe this event was in May of this year. Check it out.

“Researchers say if they can unlock some of these cancers, then they can unlock other adult cancers, “Dipadova said. “Our Saddleback College community has the power to make a tremendous difference for kids fighting cancer.”

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that has funded more than $127 million to support some of the most well-known childhood cancer research experts in the world. Partnering with Saddleback also creates awareness in Orange County.

“It’s awesome to see the Saddleback community coming together, once again, to rally around such an important cause,” said Abigail Freeman, outreach and youth leadership coordinator for MaxLove Project. “I’m shaving again because I’m surrounded by incredible children and [know the] stories of their battles. I also know there’s still a large gap in funding and this event is another step toward our goal of funding crucial research for our kids.”

DiPadova said this is where St. Baldrick’s Foundation comes in as the largest non-governmental funder of pediatric cancer research. Cancer is the No. 1 disease killer of American kids.

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