Cancer is a mortal menace in today’s society. However, there is hope. Many people and organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS), have undertaken a battle against this terrible illness.
The ACS is “the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.” It was founded in 1913 by 15 physicians and has been instrumental in the fight against cancer since its inception. This is not just a struggle to be fought by doctors and scientists, though; ordinary people are helping out as well. One St. John’s University student is joining the fight against cancer in a rather unique manner. Jonathan Pflug, a sophomore at St. John’s, is auctioning off the right to cut his hair in any fashion you want. All proceeds from this auction will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
The idea for the auction came to him out of the blue. He didn’t know what to do with his hair because it was getting long when, as he noted, “It hit me. Why not use this hair for good?”There is one stipulation: if you are the winning bidder, you are not allowed to cut any crude images or words into his hair. Other than that, it’s fair game. Jon will only keep his new hairstyle for a week, but he will keep it up to 3 weeks longer than that for an additional $5 per day.
“I think that if I had to pick one hairstyle that I would like the least, I would have to say it would be having it all shaved off except for one small spot of long hair,” he said. “It’s okay though, because when people see it, I can explain that it’s for a good cause and raise awareness.”
Andrew Conde, a fellow St. John’s sophomore and friend of Jon’s, said, “I admire his initiative to do something good for others and his willingness to embarrass himself for a good laugh and a good cause.”
When asked what hair style he would give Jon if he won the auction, he said, “Well, I hear a lot of people would like to see him with male-patterned baldness. I’m probably going to jump in that pool.”
Jon has many reasons for auctioning off his haircut. “I was just plum bored,” he joked. “But also, one of my main reasons for doing this was that my aunt, Marcella, is a cancer patient.
“I was working with her the entire summer, helping her move stuff for her job, and just being around her was really tough because the cancer really made her tired. She gets fatigued really easily and you can just see the toll it was taking on her. She lost a ton of weight and her ankles get fatigued really easily.”
Alopecia, the term for when your hair falls out due to chemotherapy, did not strike Marcella as hard as it does many other patients. Her hair thinned, but she did not lose it all.
Although Jon’s hair is not long enough to donate, through raising money and awareness, he hopes that others will also be willing to donate themselves to the cause, whether it be through donating time, money, or hair so that patients can purchase wigs made from real hair.
Marcella has gotten through the worst part of it okay. She still goes to the doctor for regular check-ups, but Jon does not want to see anyone suffer like that again, even if it means getting an embarrassing haircut.
“She’s been really close to me my whole life and she’s one of the nicest people I know. She’s done so much for so many people and just to see her like that is incredibly tough,” said Jon. “I never want to see another person go through that. So, I want to do as much as I can do to help the fight against cancer.”
There are two ways you can go about bidding. First if you have a Facebook account, then simply search “Pflug’s Crazy Hair Auction” in events and place your bid on the group.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, then you can e-mail Jon at [email protected], ask him what the bidding is currently at, and then see if you can top it.
The auction closes at 8:00 pm on October 13th and the tentative date of the haircut will be the evening October 17 in front of O’Connor Hall. If you do not get the winning bid, or if you simply want to donate straight to the American Cancer Society, then you can go to www.cancer.org to make a donation.