Students show support in breast cancer battle

Published 10:43 pm Monday, October 15, 2012

Martin Middle School students Jacob Jeter, Preston Phillips and Nicholas Milstead shaved their heads in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. -- Sarah Cook

VALLEY GRANDE — In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, three 7th graders from Martin Middle School will now use less shampoo.

Jacob Jeter, Preston Phillips and Nicholas Milstead shaved their heads and auctioned the proceeds at the Selma Horse Arena during the Pretty in Pink Rodeo in honor of family members affected by breast cancer.

For Jeter, taking “the chop” was especially important because his mother, Charlotte Desch, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May.

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“All the money went to her treatments,” Jeter said. “I thought it was important that I do it.”

Phillips and Milstead both said they have family members affected by cancer, so auctioning their hair was something that “hit home” for them too.

“I did it for Jacob’s mom and my aunt because she had breast cancer,” Milstead said, and Philllips added, “My dad has cancer so I did it for that reason too.”

Jeter’s mother said she was surprised when her son and so many of his friends decided to shave their heads to raise money for her medical bills, and it was also a “spur of the moment decision.”

“The kids started coming over the rail in the arena one by one to auction their hair off for money,” she said. “So I was surprised, it was very heartfelt, you know, all the emotions you can have for something like that. It just brought a lot of people out and a lot of people together.”

All three boys said their friends were surprised when they showed up to school the next day with shaved heads, but they said they would do it again given the chance.

“I think Breast Cancer Awareness Month is important because so many people are diagnosed with it every year,” Phillips said. “I’d definitely do it again.”