31 Campbell Students Go to Great Lengths to Help Cancer Patients

May 2, 2014

by Len Lathrop

Savannah Cavanaugh and Angela Valenti started over a year ago on a touching senior project that culminated on Friday, April 25, far exceeding their expectations.  The good cause was to donate their hair for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths event.  Thirty-one of Campbell’s students stepped up to each shed eight inches of their hair which will be made into wigs for cancer patients who lose their hair due to their treatments.

As students filled the gymnasium bleachers, nearly 100 family and friends were there showing their support for everyone involved.  Another giant show of support came from seven male students who offered to do their part by shaving their heads.  The 31 students donating their locks were introduced and then seated in a semi-circle facing the bleachers.  Specially chosen family, friends and teachers then came forward to cut the premade ponytails from each young woman.

Both Cavanaugh and Valenti have had their lives touched by cancer.  Cavanaugh’s grandmother, a four-time cancer survivor, was there to support her granddaughter’s efforts and spoke to the group about her experiences with treatment and hair loss.  She stressed how having a wig during her second bout with cancer helped her self-esteem.  Valenti mentioned that she has been affected as two of her family members have battled cancer.

After more than a year of planning, these seniors had hoped that 20 people would offer to donate their hair and so were elated to have 31 schoolmates step up for the event.

Pantene created Beautiful Lengths because the appearance of healthy hair means so much to women battling cancer.  The company wanted to be there for women at a time when looking and feeling good is so important.  As one breast cancer survivor put it, “It was very hard when my hair started falling out.  It really takes away who you are when you look in the mirror.”

According to Pantene, “Many of the women we help say that putting on a wig makes them feel like themselves again.  And when you donate your hair to the cause, you’re helping make that happen.”

Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene® and the American Cancer Society®, the largest nonprofit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease.