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Morrisville State College Norwich Staffer Goes Bald for Cause, Forms Team to Conquer Kids’ Cancer

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—Jeriluanne “Jeri” O’Bryan-Losee is making a bald statement for her 40th birthday.

The Morrisville State College Norwich campus staffer is shedding her shoulder-length locks to benefit children’s cancer research and awareness.

O’Bryan, of Sherburne, N.Y., is among many who will shave her head in return for donations to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports cancer research. The foundation raises the core of its funds through its signature worldwide head-shaving events, most held the week of St. Patrick’s Day.

O’Bryan, coordinator of academic support services, will be participating in a local St. Baldrick’s shaving event on March 19, at 7 p.m., at the Park Place Restaurant on East Park Place, in Norwich, N.Y.

Initially, O’Bryan registered to get sheared with her sister, Lynnebeth, of Schenectady, N.Y., but nearly 10 co-workers and students at the Morrisville and Norwich campuses have joined her crusade. Her goal is to raise $1,000 on her own to support children with cancer, a disease that has touched her life in many ways.

Parting with her hair is a small sacrifice for O’Bryan who lost her father-in-law to cancer and has watched many friends battle the disease. Her nephew is a bone cancer survivor.

“I asked myself what I could do to support children and their parents going through this,” O’Bryan said. “It’s hair and it grows back. I had a choice to do this. Some people don’t have that option.”

The event falls just three days shy of her March 22 birthday. “This year I will be giving something to someone else,” said O’Bryan, who in addition to raising money for St. Baldrick’s, will also be donating her mane to another organization.

Sacrificing has never been difficult for the Corning, N.Y. native who follows a family trail of helping others.
“We were always involved with community efforts,” O’Bryan said, remembering her family pitching in during a flood in Corning, and also taking in more than 18 people who needed temporary housing during difficult times throughout the years.

With that history—a father and six siblings involved in various community efforts, and a mother who volunteered as a nurse for an Alzheimer’s Organization, it wasn’t surprising to anyone when O’Bryan started spearheading events at the Norwich campus.

She’s conducted food drives, a dress for success drive for disadvantaged women and leads an annual event to send troop care packages to soldiers overseas. She’s reached out in her community too, participating in the Norwich Relay For Life, volunteering with the United Way and advocating for people with disabilities.

O’Bryan hopes to spread her selfless spirit in the upcoming weeks, getting others involved with St. Baldrick’s in some way. Among the ways to get involved are to register for a local shaving event, make a donation, or volunteer at a local event.

The unprecedented support of St. Baldrick’s donors and volunteers helped raise more than $20 million in funding for childhood cancer research in 2010, according to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website. To date, more than 144,000 people have shaved their heads to conquer kids’ cancer.

Celebrity barbers, shavees and supporters have included, Michael Douglas, Jackie Chan, Jay Leno, Molly Ringwald, and dozens of soap opera stars, professional athletes, educators and public officials.

To learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, to join a team or make a donation, visit www.stbaldricks.org (to make a specific donation to O’Bryan, type in her name, or e-mail her at obryanj@morrisville.edu.)

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.


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