Allison Rydberg runs her fingers through her shoulder-length blonde hair, knowing in two weeks there will be nothing there. A member of the Loyola University Chicago women’s soccer team, Rydberg will participate in St. Baldrick’s Day on March 21, shaving her head in honor of children fighting cancer.
“I’ve been toying around with the idea since last year because I thought the St. Baldrick’s Foundation would be a really great cause to support,” says Rydberg. “I decided to be a part of it this year and I’ll be honoring kids in the Chicago area, raising money for childhood cancer research by shaving my head.
A sophomore at Loyola, Rydberg has set a $2,000 fundraising goal, all of which goes directly to St. Baldrick’s. Thus far, she has raised over $1,700, receiving strong support from family and friends.
Started in 2000, St. Baldrick’s events are held annually, raising money for childhood cancer research. “Shavees” have raised over $100 million in research grant funding since the inaugural event, making St. Baldrick’s the largest funder of childhood cancer research grants, second only to the United States government.
“I’m excited to be involved in such an awesome cause,” says Rydberg. “I’ll definitely rock the bald look and wear a bunch of different hats. The only thing I’m nervous about is the growing out phase because my hair is kind of crazy.”
Following the event, Rydberg plans to donate her hair to Children with Hair Loss, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing customized hair replacement to children who have medically-related hair loss.