On Saturday night I attended Geneseo's Relay for Life as I have done for the past several years. If you've been to a Relay event before, then you've experienced the mix of speakers and slideshows that both break your heart and encourage you to keep fighting. Survivors, fighters and their friends and family surround you. Just being in that atmosphere and seeing the support is enough to make you feel like humanity is beautiful.
There are those, however, who after giving money and time decide to give just a little bit more. These are the people who donate inches of their hair for cancer patients. Some plan to do so in advance, and for others it is an on-the-spot decision.
It's hard to sacrifice a vanity, and for many women, hair is a prized possession. But clearly the women who donated their locks at Relay on Saturday realized that cancer patients surely feel this same way but don't have a choice in the matter.
Junior Emily Rogers and her sorority were among the many who came out to Geneseo's celebration. Rogers' sisters watched as her long locks were snipped at the shoulder. "I did it because it's only hair and it will grow back," Rogers said. "So why not give it to someone who really needs it?"
This sentiment of sacrifice is the underlying heartbeat of Relay for Life; money, time and sleep can be substituted for hair. It still stands that there are people in the world who need things more than we do. The girls brave enough to follow through with this (because it does take courage – you didn't see me sacrificing my pampered hair at any time in the recent past) are truly selfless and will make a real difference in the life of a fighting cancer patient.