During her absence from school, due to several weeks of chemotherapy, students at Meridian Elementary School made sure their 9-year-old classmate, Marlee Pack’s transition back to school was a smooth one. Nearly eighty of the Broomfield, Colorado students made the decision to buzz their heads bald in effort to show support at a school event called, “Be Bold, Be Brave, Go Bald.” The event, which took place on March 16th raised $25,000.00 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The organization supports childhood cancer treatment research.
“I didn’t think that many people would shave their heads, but I feel good about going back to school and not being the only bald one,” said Marlee.
“We can be baldy besties together!” exclaimed Cameron McLaughlin, Marlee’s best friend, who also shaved her head.
Meridian students were not the only individuals to go bald. Three female teachers, both male principals and one student’s mother shaved their heads on stage. Erin Dupper, Marlee’s first-grade teacher, not only volunteered to cut off her long tresses, she allowed Marlee to do the honors.
“The kids are getting to see Marlee upbeat, happy and brave instead of the sick girl they were imagining,” said Dupper.
After noticing a bump on her daughter’s foot last year, Shelly Pack, Marlee’s mom, eventually sought medical attention. Physicians soon determined Marlee had Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer which forms in the connective tissues. Marlee’s chemotherapy began 40 weeks after her foot was amputated. Now in remission, Marlee is incredibly touched by the outpouring of love from her classmates, teachers and administrators.
“It’s just amazing because they all shaved their heads for me,” Marlee told the Broomfield News. “I just want to say thank you.”