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Cabot woman plans to shave head for cancer research

By Angela Spencer/Staff Writer

This article was published April 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

Samantha Rudder, 20, will shave her head Saturday in exchange for money that she will donate for cancer research.

Hair grows back when it gets cut, so what is there to lose by cutting one’s hair short for a good cause?

Samantha Rudder, 20, said she is not worried about shaving her head later this month. After hearing the story of a 6-year-old girl who died of cancer, Rudder wanted to do something to possibly prevent another child from having to battle the disease.

“Her story really touched me,” Rudder said. “She had tumors all over her body. She was in pain. At the end, she told her mom she was ready to go.”

Rudder’s mother’s friend, who knew the 6-year-old girl, did something bold to raise money for cancer research, and Rudder decided to do the same. On Saturday, she will shave her head at SHOP-O-RAMA!, a monthly vendor event in Cabot, as the culmination of a fundraising effort for cancer research.

The event will take place at Cabot Junior High School North, 38 Spirit Drive, and Rudder’s hair will be shaved off at 2:30 p.m.

Her mother’s friend raised $3,500 in three weeks before she took the clippers to her head. Rudder’s goal is $1,500 by Shave Day, and she is more than halfway there.

“Just to think this money is going to cancer research makes it worth it,” she said. “My hair will grow back.”

The money will be donated through St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer organization that funds research to find cures for childhood cancers.

“None of it goes in my pocket at all,” Rudder said.

Although Rudder is the one shaving her head, she said her monetary donation to St. Baldrick’s will be made in the name of the community. She said she has been involved in other fundraising events, but nothing like this — and nothing by herself.

“It’s hard. It’s stressful. But in the end, it’s all worth it,” she said. “It’s nice to know people appreciate you and support you for doing something like this.”

The thought of shaving her head does not seem to phase Rudder, but the weight of helping children live to be adults is one that is heavy on her heart.

“That little girl touched me to do this,” she said of the 6-year-old she never got to meet. “She made me think that this needs to be done.”

Rudder has been collecting donations through St. Baldrick’s website at www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/719879/2014 and will collect donations at Saturday’s event.

She has also set up a Facebook page called St. Baldrick’s Shave for a Cure-Samantha Rudder, Cabot, Arkansas, to keep the community updated on her donation achievements and to post photos of her upcoming haircut.

Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or aspencer@arkansasonline.com.

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