Midwestern University Students, Faculty Participate in Annual St. Baldrick’s Event

Midwestern community raises money and awareness about children’s cancer

  • IL - Downers Grove
CCOM students get their heads shaved to support cancer research.

Ravi Amin (CCOM ’26) and Harrison Quirke (CCOM ’26) get their heads shaved in support of raising awareness of pediatric cancer.

 Midwestern University’s Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) St. Baldrick’s Shave for Change was held as a part of Midwestern University’s commitment to community service. Faculty and students participated in the event, and a few shaved their heads to raise awareness for pediatric cancer and support cancer research. Around $30,000 was raised for the cause. 

From the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, students Ravi Amin (CCOM ’26) and Harrison Quirke (CCOM ’26) were among the participants who shaved their heads for the cause. About 54 people participated in the event held at Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downers Grove. 

Student and SOMA president, Riya Pathare (CCOM ’26), said nearly 200 were in attendance including Midwestern University students, faculty, community members, and two families impacted by pediatric cancer. “Those families came up and explained how grateful they are people came and supported their families and helped their kids survive,” Riya said, “I hope that others are able to see how much of an impact doing something like this can have. You feel like you’re doing something good for the community. You are impacting the lives of these young children that were impacted by pediatric cancer.” 

Riya also said the event reminds students why they chose to study healthcare. “You want to help people in real life before you get a degree and pursue medicine to help people who were given the short end of the stick and can’t really help themselves.”  In addition, when students are caught in the stress of exams, this experience reminds students of more dire worries and how they can help, she added. 

Students put their hands together in solidarity at the St. Baldrick's event.
Midwestern University students participate in the St. Baldrick’s annual event Shave for Change.

Danielle Sychowski (CCOM ’26) raised over $650 for the cause this year. Last year Danielle shaved her head for the cause. “I was so nervous. I'd never shaved my head before. I had so much support from my friends, family, classmates, former softball teammates, and the community in general. Prior to my shave time, I had a classmate put my hair into four sectioned-off braids, so that it could be cut off and donated. I donated 20 inches of hair to Wigs For Kids, an organization that makes wigs for children who lose their hair due to cancer treatment or other medical conditions.” If people are nervous about getting their heads shaved, Danielle says, “Go for it. It’s just hair and it will grow back.”

Danielle added that “getting to hear from parents of kids with cancer or directly from kids themselves at the event really made me realize how big a role a community can have in creating hope and just building a sense of togetherness. As a future physician, I think having participated in this event will help me have a greater appreciation for community-driven events to support patients and their families.”

Childhood cancer awareness is one of many causes that the Midwestern University community supports in a variety of ways, including clubs and organizations. Midwestern University offers clubs and organizations in Downers Grove and Glendale. 

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