Jake Scanlon will shave his head next month to raise money for kids with cancer. (Owen O'Rourke)
Lifestyle, News

Swampscott High student to shave head for kids with cancer

SWAMPSCOTT — Swampscott High School junior Jake Scanlon plans to shave his hair off next month to support kids with cancer who don't have a choice in losing their hair.

Scanlon, 17, is raising funds for One Mission Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer and will shave his head on June 3 during the Buzz Off at Gillette Stadium event. So, far he's raised more than $700.

According to the organization's website, proceeds from The Buzz Off fund vital programs that reduce stress, restore joy and provide kids and their families with the support they need to get through treatment. One Mission is a pediatric cancer charity.

Scanlon said kids with cancer lose their hair unwillingly, which can make them uncomfortable and feel like outsiders. By shaving his head, he said it puts him not in the same boat, but in a similar situation, with trying to understand what they're going through from that aspect.

Scanlon found out about the fundraiser recently and thought it would be a good idea to sign up and raise money. Despite not having a personal connection to cancer, he said he feels strongly about the cause.

"I don't see why you wouldn't want to help out, especially for a kid who has their whole life ahead of them but has to deal with this illness," Scanlon said.

If he can change one kid's life by shaving his head and raising funds for charity, he said it's completely worth it.

Scanlon said his mother, Penny Collins-Scanlon, who works as a hairdresser at Jake and Jill Hair Salon in Lynn, wanted to volunteer to help out at the event, but they didn't need any more assistance. When she was talking about the event, that's when he was signing up for it.

"Jake has always been a kind-hearted kid," Collins-Scanlon said. "I am so unbelievably proud of him for doing this to help raise money for kids with cancer. Seeing how excited he is to do it makes me even more proud."

New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski had his hair buzzed off alongside hundreds of people at last year's Buzz off at Gillette Stadium event.

According to the One Mission Buzz Off website, 5,464 heads have been shaved since 2010. More than $6.7 million has been raised and more than 8,000 patients and families have been given support.

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