junior Olivia Flechsig, 17, and about a dozen of her friends are going to shave their heads off this Tuesday as they participate, along with thousands of others across the country, in St. Baldrick's Day.
The shavees will lose their hair all in the name of childhood cancer research and they have certain monetary goals to motivate them.
Olivia is hoping to raise $7,500 to go bald. She's raised more than $2,000 so far. "It looks like I won't be shaving my head unless the community helps me out. I need their support."
If she doesn't reach her goal, she said she'll be cutting about 10 inches off her 2½-feet-long hair to donate it to the Locks of Love organization.
If several big donors come through with a couple of thousand dollars today, Monday, "I will do it. I will shave it," she promised.
The event takes place at 11:30 a.m. either in front of the high school or in the school's gymnasium during the lunchtime.
It will be first at LGHS started by Flechsig and fellow Los Gatos Patch Whiz Kids and others who began a Gold Ribbon Club that now has between 25 and 30 members.
They were inspired by their younger peers at who
At Fisher, the event will be held Friday, March 16 and two girls are willing to shave their heads, including Ali Fox, who is doing it for the third year in a row. According to the latest numbers, Fisher had raised more than $10,000. If the school reaches $15,000 by Tuesday, March 13, its very own Mr. LaTorre will join the cause and shave his head.
"We're trying to advertise the event and get people to shave their heads," said Olivia. "We're asking our friends and family to sponsor us and the money benefits the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funds research various cures of childhood cancer."
Olivia is doing this, however, for a more personal reason. Her sister, Natalie, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was 18 years old, but fortunately she's been in remission now for three years.
Natalie, 22, was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. "It was really sad. My mom was gone to be with my sister at the hospital for three to five days at a time. She received chemotherapy treatments for nine months and she had to have a big surgery on her leg."
But Olivia said her sister became stronger for it, developing a resiliency to hardship that's rare to find in young people. She's now attending law school the University of California-Berkeley.
Doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in Natalie's left femur. After a month of scans, tests, and chemo, she underwent an operation to remove her knee and parts of her femur and tibia. They were replaced with a titanium prosthesis, Olivia said.
To sponsor Olivia and her buddies, please visit the St. Baldrick's Foundation's website by clicking here.
To see Olivia's direct profile on the foundation's website, please click here:
Olivia, who's junior class president this year, said most of the boys in the group are going to shave their heads off regardless of whether they reach their goals, but she will only go bald if she reaches her goal.
Olivia's mother, Lu Ann Flechsig said the event is quite meaningful to Los Gatos because the town has lost three children within the past two years to cancer: Alexis Briski, , and a student at St. Mary's School.