Junior Charlotte Garguilo ‘braves the shave’ for the third time

By on April 2, 2019

Many female Quinnipiac students may not opt for a buzz-cut, but junior Charlotte Garguilo, has been choosing to shave her head for the past three years at the Student Programming Board’s (SPB) and the Quinnipiac Irish Club’s annual St. Baldrick’s event.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
St. Baldrick’s has been a nationwide service event since 2005 and has raised $258 million for childhood cancer research. People raise money for this cause through donating, volunteering, being a barber for the shavees or by being someone who is willing to get their head shaved the day of the event. For the past two years and again this year, Garguilo has raised money for St. Baldrick’s and has had her head shaved at the event.

“I always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself in ways that impact others in great strides,” Garguilo said. “I have family friends who have been affected by various forms of cancer which is why I try to display many pages [for St. Baldrick’s] that show more than just one specific cancer disease. I also do this as a way of honoring them because I know they would want to help others fight this disease too.”

For Garguilo, raising money to fight cancer has always been a passion, but she was unable to start participating in a St. Baldrick’s event until her first year at QU.

“I didn’t know [St. Baldrick’s] existed and my high school didn’t do this, although I wish they did,” Garguilo said. “The first time I learned about it was on one of the tours [of QU] I went on with my mom. We walked up to the table in the Rec Center that displayed information on St. Baldrick’s and I remember most the look my mom gave me right as she read ‘shavee’ and saw the pictures. She almost wanted to cry because she knew I’d be doing this as soon as I could.”

As a shavee on the day of the event, Garguilo sat in the barber chair to get her head shaved bald. Despite the fact that her mother and others are afraid of her shaving all of her hair off, Garguilo is proud and loves the fact that she has been shaving her head in the spirit of raising money for cancer research.

“The biggest take away I’d say I want people to get from [St. Baldrick’s] is that if you’re a healthy average individual, for the most part, hair grows back,” Garguilo said. “So I think that if you can see past the idea of whether or not you have hair on your head, that’s not what defines you or your identity. It is a big part for a lot of women with how they see themselves, which I do understand, but I just think that bald is also beautiful. I truly do.”

Alongside Garguilo’s passion for raising money for cancer research is her own personal connection to how battling cancer can impact an individual and their loved ones.

“I had a friend this year who was unable to come back for the school year because they were diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age,” Garguilo said. “All of us were highly concerned and would be sure to keep in touch to see how they were doing week to week. It’s a scary thing to be touched by and I just think that if more people were more empathetic to what it means to give a cancer patient hope, that more people would be willing to take that leap and be open to be making that difference.”

Another reason why Garguilo loves this event is spreading the word about cancer research by asking for donations to support her in shaving her head.

“I think my favorite aspect of [St. Baldrick’s] would be the whole process of asking for donations and asking my friends, family and followers to spread the word,” Garguilo said. “Then when the time comes, it’s always really cool to do the Facebook live stream so that those who donated can feel as though they also are able to see the event they helped come full circle. It’s just a lot of fun altogether and it is very humbling.”

Many people, including her friends, admire Garguilo’s willingness to go and shave all of her hair off every year for the past three years.

“I think it is a really amazing thing that she’s [Garguilo] doing this [St. Baldrick’s] to give support this event,” junior Lia Devenney said. “Especially for women in this day and age it’s very hard to be able to shave your hair off because it is part of being a woman. But I think people who can do that [shaving their head] it takes a lot of courage and I admire people who can do that.”

However, despite the praise, Garguilo enjoys and looks forward to the entire aspect of shaving her head for this specific cause.

“It’s just funny because it is something that I’m so excited to do,” Garguilo said. “It is this freeing feeling that I get from it and it is something that I love to embrace. People tell I’m really brave for doing this, but I’m not. I’m just someone who loves this event and looks forward to shaving my head every year for a great cause. It’s the kids, young adults and adults who go through ever-changing diagnoses and treatments daily because of cancer who are brave.”

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