Greencastle teen goes bald for a good cause

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Cassandra Martin is a "shavee" for St. Baldrick's Foundation. Since its formation in 2000, over 240,000 people, including 24,000 women, have shaved their heads to raise money to benefit kids with cancer.

The prevalence of cancer touched Cassandra Martin personally, so she chose to do something about it. The 17-year-old Greencastle-Antrim High School senior shaved her head to raise money for St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity devoted to funding research to cure childhood cancer.

She sees the pain her cousin experiences watching a best friend, age 13, go through hospitalizations and cancer treatments for the past two years. The child nearly died but is now in remission. Cassandra's mother had cancer as a young adult too.

She discovered St. Baldrick's and liked its mission. She set a high goal.

"I've pledged to stay bald until I raise $10,000," she said. "It's a huge amount, but still it isn't enough. You never can have too much money to put into children's cancer research."

Cassandra donated her 10-inch mane to Locks of Love on Dec. 15 and spent a week in school, before Christmas break, with her new "do".

Her fellow students reacted.

"They said I'm brave, and have a nicely shaped head. They rub it in the halls."

Family and friends donated $345 to get her started. She is spreading the word through Facebook and will speak to any group interested in helping.

At school, Cassandra is a cheerleader and a member of Peer Leaders. She plans to attend college for psychology. She is the daughter of Tammy Romito and Robert Martin.

People may access her fundraising page at stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/579020