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A local Hopewell area resident, Janice Schroeder, shaved her head this month and, unlike Britney Spears, she did it for a good cause.

Janice participated the annual fundraising shave with St. Baldrick’s to bring awareness to and fight childhood cancer, after having been inspired by two friends who took the plunge last year.

10362842_10155225636950241_4930264995409447972_nSo on this drizzly March 14th, Janice was one of about 170 shavees at a crowded Amalfi’s in Lawrenceville for her first shave. For moral support, Janice was accompanied, by her husband, Mark. and eight year old son, Bennett, along with two friends who took photos.

“It seemed so scary that I got a knot in my stomach,” said Janice. “But I have realized that choosing to be bald is so much luckier than becoming bald because of chemo or watching your friend or your child do so. I feel very blessed to NOT have someone specific to shave for or in memory of. The more people I told about my intent to do this the more real it became in my mind. It wasn’t a snap decision and I did waffle at some points during the year.”

In addition to the shavees, there were barbers at 8 shaving stations and a variety of other stations with face/scalp painting, button and swag sales and a photo booth, and volunteers. Shaves took about 10 minutes on average but Janice’s took longer because she had the barber save her ponytail for donation to make wigs for children.

“I think I was born with longer hair,” joked Janice. And she found the shave to be a great ice breaker at her relatively new job, especially when wearing her “Ask me why I’m bald” pin.

“And I’m actually really happy with how I look with this buzz cut and my hair grows very fast,” said Janice. “Next up, I’m going to get a henna crown after a full close shave. I read about this in the summer and thought I could add this to the awareness and fundraising I was going to be doing for St Baldrick’s kids’s cancer research. Because, really, how often will I be bald. Hopefully, just this one time, by my own choice.”

When asked whether she would do it again, Janice said, “Maybe, probably. It’s a little early to say for sure.” Her husband another friend both expressed interest in shaving next year, so she is thinking about making a fundraising team for next year.

Lots of friends, neighbors and co-workers have helped support the cause. Will you make a donation? Every dollar makes a difference for the thousands of infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting childhood cancers.

Here’s a link to Janice’s donation page. There’s still time to give!

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.

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