CU student loses hair, gains perspective
The crowd cheered as clumps of Alison Mc Mahon’s shoulder-length blond hair fell to the at the Fox Theatre.
Mc Mahon reached up and touched her smooth head. Her jaw dropped and all she could do was laugh.
“I really like it a lot,” Mc Mahon said. “I’m just going to be touching my head for the next week.”
Mc Mahon, a 19-year-old senior MCDB and integrative physiology major, went bald on March 15 to raise money for childhood cancer research with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
The night before, Mc Mahon ran her hand through a full head of hair as she talked, conscious that it would no longer be there by the next afternoon.
While she said that she was definitely nervous to go under the razor, she wanted to be a part of finding a cure.
“It’s a really good cause,” she said. “It draws attention to an important issue. Being bald is an easy way to talk about why I did it and tell people about the work that St. Baldrick’s does.”
By the next morning, her nervousness turned into excitement as friends and other participants surrounded her. About 250 people gathered at the Fox Theatre on the hill to go bald. Among them were kindergarten classes, grandparents, fraternities and other people who were passionate about the cause.
Luke Welborn, 21, a junior integrative physiology major, said that his decision to shave his head came from a personal experience.
“My cousin had cancer and lost all his hair,” Welborn said, “so it’s a good cause to support.”
The event raised over $100,000 overall and the turnout of over 400 people made Boulder the fifth-largest participating city worldwide.
While she waited for her turn to have her head shaved, Mc Mahon watched other participants onstage. One man had $100 donated for each eyebrow.
The audience clapped as another man held up his two foot long ponytail. There was also a team called “David’s girlfriend doesn’t know he’s shaving his head” that raised almost $1000.
When the announcer finally called Mc Mahon’s team, the Phi Sigma Pi honors fraternity, she did not hesitate before heading to the stage. She smiled throughout the entire shaving process as she watched her hair fall to the floor.
Eric Chan, 19, a sophomore broadcast news major and a member of Mc Mahon’s team, said he was proud of her.
“I think that’s awesome and very brave of her,” Chan said. “She rocks the bald head.”
After she stepped offstage, Mc Mahon rubbed her bare head and smiled.
“It’s not something to be afraid of. It’s just hair and it’ll grow back,” she said. “It’s worth putting vanity behind you.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Morgan Keys at firstname.lastname@example.org.