• John Jantak

The Journal reporter ready to have his hair cut for Hudson Shave 2 Save cancer fundraiser


PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO

A year’s worth of hair growth on The Journal’s James Armstrong, pictured here with staff dogs Jackson and Rocky, is coming off as James has raised just over $2,000, and counting, to donate to the Hudson Shave 2 Save cancer fighting initiative.

Inspired by the tremendous support given by the large number of people who participated in a cancer fundraising drive last year, The Journal reporter James Armstrong will participate in this year’s fifth annual Shave 2 Save fundraiser in Hudson.

Hosted by the Hudson Fire Department, in association with the Canadian Cancer Society, the event has become an important annual staple in the community that attracts both young and old to raise money for cancer awareness and research. The previous Shave 2 Save events to date have raised over $60,000.

For Rigaud resident Armstrong, who reported on last year’s event, seeing the many participants who were committed to the cause of cancer research prompted him to commit to participating in this year’s event to promote cancer awareness in the community.

Personal commitment to help

“I was really impressed with it. There were people from the age of nine or 10 to senior citizens who were donating their time, energy and also their hair, to have their heads shaved to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society,” said Armstrong.

Like many people, Armstrong knows of family members and friends who have been stricken by various forms of cancer which is why he decided to let his hair grow for the past year to prepare for this year’s event.

“There are very few people or families whose lives haven’t been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form. I thought it’s time I finally did something concrete,” said Armstrong. “So I stopped having haircuts at the end of April last year. If my hair is long enough to be donated, and if it’s not too grey, or brittle or old, then they can have it. It’s coming off.”

Family and friends affected

He poignantly recalled how cancer touched his family when he was a little boy. “It started for me at a very early age in 1958 when my mother died of bowel and liver cancer,” said Armstrong.

“They discovered it when she was pregnant with my sister. Then my sister lived with the fear of the spectre of cancer because from 1958 onwards, for the next 10 to 15 years, there wasn’t a lot known about cancer, not as much as we know now. And it’s all due to research,” Armstrong added.

He also noted the loss last year of The Journal’s original publisher Joe Bissonnette to cancer, a death that was also a huge loss to the staff at the paper and to the community.

Armstrong is also anxious to have his one year’s worth of hair finally removed – and he would consider possibly doing it again. “I’ve got to get a haircut,” he said with a laugh. “This hair is driving me nuts.”

Shave 2 Save

The Shave 2 Save event is comprised of an afternoon portion and an evening portion. Beginning at noon, local firefighters – along with their family and friends – will shave their heads/donate their hair – at the Hudson Fire Station to raise awareness for this worthy cause.

There will be live music, food, raffle tables and great support from the community all afternoon. In the evening, Shave 2 Save festivities move to the Hudson Community Centre for the Gala Music Event. Donations can also be made online. More information is available at the Shave 2 Save Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/219938301883596/?active_tab=discussion

You can help James Armstrong reach his $5000 goal by going to his fundraising site at https://tinyurl.com/ya29ols5.

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