High school students go bald to support classmate with leukemia

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By Patti Sapone, NJ Advance Media for nj.com

Students at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen took part in a St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event to raise funds for lifesaving childhood cancer research and to honor classmate Matthew Hall.

Hall, a junior at St. Joseph, is currently in treatment for Burkitt’s leukemia.vgobaldricks1

The event began on Thursday afternoon with a lively pep rally as more than 30 students lined up to go bald for a cause, raising nearly $20,000.

Hall’s brother, Jack, a sophomore at the high school participated in the event as his father and sisters cheered him on.

Matthew Hall watched the event from his hospital room with his mother Kerry Hall via VGo, a telepresence robot.

 

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The VGo allows Matthew to be present on the campus of Saint Joe’s remotely while receiving treatment for leukemia.

The school has participated in this event for four years.

Ryan O’Malley, participated this year because the fundraiser now holds a special place in his heart.  O’Malley and Hall, both juniors, are cross-country teammates and close friends.

In the past, O’Malley was one of those kids who was hesitant about shaving his head for the cause but this year was different. Having a close friend diagnosed with cancer made him realize what people dealing with the disease go through.

“Cancer can happen to anyone, so get up and get your head shaven for a good cause,”vgobaldricks4 O’Malley said. “It grows back!”