Grade 12 Cremona School student Gizelle de Guzman may be starting a new trend for high school graduates – she will be attending her grad bald.
de Guzman, a mental health youth ambassador for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, will be shaving her head for cancer the day before her graduation on June 23. She is signed up to do it through the Kids Cancer Care’s Shave Your Lid for a Kid program and her shaved hair will be donated to A Child’s Voice Foundation.
“It started about three years ago when I had this crazy dream about this girl going to grad – she was bald from cancer and no one would take her to grad. When I woke up that morning it was a literal wake up call for me,” de Guzman explained.
The cause is personal for de Guzman because both her mother and stepmother lost their battles with cancer. She also has many friends who have been impacted by the disease.
“It’s been a really bumpy road for me because some people weren’t really supporting me, but when I finally made the decision to do it I started getting donations from total strangers,” de Guzman said. “The point of me doing this before grad is I really want to make people be aware that there are students graduating who suffer from cancer. The presence of our hair should not affect how we feel as graduates when we’re on that stage,” de Guzman explained.
de Guzman started collecting donations on June 4 and in less than a week raised $800 of her $1,000 goal. This isn’t the first time she’s helped give back to those suffering.
“I have PTSD and I’ve been through a lot of experiences. It makes me happy that I’m able to give back to youth that suffer how I did when I was younger.
I wrote the radio song for the Alberta Children’s Hospital this year and I’ve been speaking at various mental health events,” de Guzman said.
Those who wish to donate to de Guzman’s cause can visit kidscancercare.akaraisin.com/shaves/takebaldtograd. The shave will be taking place at the Mezzanine Hair Studio in Airdrie on June 23 at 5:00 p.m.