Northwestern Medicine Employees Shave Heads For A Cure

Lisa Fielding
March 23, 2018 - 5:41 pm
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(Lisa Fielding/WBBM Newsradio)

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WARRENVILLE (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The shears were on overdrive Friday at Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center in Warrenville.

"We treat a lot of children here, at the Proton Center, so this event is very near and dear to us," said William Hartsell, Medical Director, Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center.

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"I think this is also gives us an appreciation of what the kids go through. It gives you a lot more empathy for what they're going through."

"I'm a little nervous, but it's all good. I'm happy," said Nancy Lejsner, who had her head shaved for the first time.

"I've been able to care for so many different pediatric patients that I just want to be able to support them in another way," said Lejsner, a radiation therapist.

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She lost more than 12 inches of her hair today.

"We've been talking about this for a long time, so we're ready," she said.

WBBM: "What are you going to do with your new hairdo?”

"I'm going to rock the Mohawk, I don't know," Lejsner said, laughing.

Another first-timer was Stephanie Perry, a radiation therapist from West Frankfort, who cut off more than 20 inches of her hair.

"We have a lot of pediatric patients, especially little girls. Hair is identity for them. I've had little girls cry when they start losing their hair. I've seen a grown woman who's lost her hair and she broke down -- it's a big thing for us to lose our hair,” Perry said. “It's something I always said I'd do for my patients or even a friend. I'm owning up to my own words now.”

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Stephanie Perry (Lisa Fielding/WBBM Newsradio)

"I feel like it’s a good thing. It’s about solidarity. All my patients are beautiful with or without hair. I hope they feel the same thing about me and that they appreciate that we are doing this for that cause. Technically, we are raising money for cancer research, but it's more about showing support, showing support about what they're going through."

"We've been doing this for about three, four years. A lot of women are participating," Hartsell said. "There is a lot of enthusiasm for this and the women are being very courageous, more than the men.”

In all, 29 people are now "rockin' the bald.” The staff raised nearly $12,000 for childhood cancer research.

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