Cutting their locks for those with cancer

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MILFORD: For a young woman to cut her long, beautiful hair is one thing. To do it in a room full of your high school peers is another.

That’s exactly what Phylecia Ferguson did at Hants East Rural High’s Shave for the Brave on March 8. Ferguson was one of five students who fundraised for the event, organized by HERH Student Council. In total they raised $6,000, with Ferguson raising $2,200.

Initially, Ferguson’s goal was $1,600 and she would cut 16 inches off. That changed as more money came in, so she upped it to 19 inches.

“I’ve been growing my hair for quite sometime so it became time to chop it,” said Ferguson moments before hitting the stage with the four other participants to get their hair cut. “The main reason I’m doing this is my best friends mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.”


Happy faces were all around as students had their hair cut off at the Shave for the Brave fundraiser, hosted by HERH Student Council on March 8 in Milford. Ken Drew is the hairdresser.
(Healey photos)

She said it’s amazing to see the support she’s received in chopping the mop, as she called it.

“It’s funny that today is International Women’s Day and I want another girl to be able to enjoy my hair because I’ve enjoyed it so much,” she said.

Ferguson said her mom wasn’t really surprised when she told her what she planned on doing.

“Funny enough, my older brother shaved his head for Shave for the Brave back when he was in high school for his good friend who had been diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

She said she’s been waiting for the day for awhile.

“I’m a little bit nervous, but I’m also really excited to be doing it,” she said. “I’m beyond grateful for the support given to me from the community and my fellow students and teachers here at HERH.”

Gareth Sanford of Elmsdale said his grandmother passed away when he was in grade four or five.

“I’m shaving my head in memory of my grandmother who died because of cancer,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to shave my head.”

He raised close to $200, but he started later in the fundraising than others.

Shubenacadie resident Rebecca Damsteegt said she was doing it because her friend did the shave last year. Damsteegt raised $1,600.

“I’ve always wanted to shave my head so why not do it for a good cause,” said Damsteegt. “I’m really nervous, but it’ll feel good once it’s done.”

Ken Drew begins the cutting of Rebecca Damsteegt’s hair at YACC’s Shave for the Brave held March 8 at HERH in Milford. (Healey photo)
Hairdresser Ken Drew finishes up on Shave for the Brave participant Gareth Sanford on March 8 at HERH in Milford. (Healey photo)


The organizers and shavers. (Healey photo)