by Kinjal Shah

Ninth grader Matias Nordenstahl shaved his head to raise funds for cancer research! But he didn't just stop there. The freshman has been participating in a number of initiatives and has some amazing plans to improve the lives of cancer patients globally. 

1. Why support cancer research?
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death for all humans, and I believe we should all help where we can. This disease is very gruesome and nobody deserves the pains that come with it. Cancer is physically, and mentally challenging for both the patients and their family, and if there is even a very slight chance that my contributions would help, I would do whatever is necessary and I think we all should too.

2. What did you do to raise money for the cause?
I went around the entire school encouraging people to donate. I spread the word through social media; I asked everyone in my classes and clubs; I ran 10km in the Terry Fox Run; I shaved my head for awareness; and eventually, with the help of my peers, I raised a total of S$1,522.95. 

3. Why a mohawk?
The whole point of shaving my head was to give people an incentive to donate. I think it would be very entertaining to watch someone shave their entire head, but what would be more entertaining? Watching someone shave a mohawk into their head! 

With that thought in mind, I set a goal of raising S$1,000 and if I managed to reach my goal, I promised myself a mohawk. And the rest is history!

4. What is your goal for this cause?
My goal for this cause is to create a service-oriented club, and with my fellow Eagles, and raise as much money as possible for this cause. I have set an ambitious goal for this new club to organize a head-shaving event by the end of the year, in which I hope to raise a grand total of S$10,000. The ultimate goal is to either cure cancer or help improve the daily lives of patients in whatever small way we can.

5. How can the community help?
Everyone can help in so many different ways. If a fundraiser comes up, donate! If there is a chance to raise awareness, participate! Or if you want to be directly involved, make your own fundraiser. There are many websites like Saint Baldrick’s Foundation that will allow you to organize your own event.

6. What’s next for you towards supporting cancer research?
I have already chosen five officers for the club, and I have 11 other members in the club. I have sent in my application for a service-oriented club, and if it is approved, I have very big plans for fundraising and awareness. The club is called the Saint Baldrick’s club, and we will host large head-shaving events where multiple people raise money the same way I did. All the proceeds will go to the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation and in building the club.

  • high school
  • mohawk
  • service
  • service learning



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