Local student creates fundraiser to fight for life

Allison Life, 13, has raised over a $1,000 so far in her quest to raise $7,500 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
McKenna Harford /

Allison Life isn’t really that nervous to shave her head in front of hundreds of other students, teachers and faculty. In fact, she’s actually excited because Life is going bald for a cause.

In an effort to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Life, a 13-year-old from Hot Sulphur Springs, decided she would shave her head and donate any proceeds to the hospital.

“I feel like it will be a fun experience to have my hair grow back and try new hairstyles,” Life, a seventh grader at East Grand Middle School, said with a smile. “Your hair always grows back.”

Life said she was inspired by the generosity of her grandparents, who make a donation to a charity every year around the holidays. They had chosen St. Jude’s previously and after finding out more about the hospital’s mission, Life wanted to support it.

“I read a little more about (St. Jude’s) and noticed how parents never have to pay a bill there, so I thought that’s my place,” she said.

Donation buckets are set up in the front office of East Grand Middle School and she has also set up a page on St. Jude’s website for her fundraiser. Life’s overall goal is to raise $7,500.

The top business, teacher and student donors will be given the honors of shaving Life’s head at the East Grand Middle School pep assembly at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Jenny Rothboeck, principal of East Grand Middle School, said Life is a hard-working and conscientious student, so when she brought her fundraiser to the school, they wanted to support her.

“Basically, Allison took this on on her own and asked me if it could be something that we did school-wide,” Rothboeck explained. “St. Jude’s is a great hospital, it’s a good cause and when kids take initiative to think beyond themselves and their world and do something for the greater good, we support it.”

Luckily, Life is no stranger to raising money or participating for a good cause. In elementary school, she participated in Hoops for Heart, a school basketball fundraiser for the American Heart Association and SHAPE America, as well as donated her hair to Locks of Love earlier this year.

Life has been raising money over the past few weeks through word of mouth at the school and around the community, but also by stopping into local businesses and sharing her fundraiser with them.

She estimates that she has already raised over $1,000 from local businesses, teachers and students at East Grand Middle School and community members. According to the St. Jude’s fundraising page, $1,000 will provide patient family necessities to 20 families staying at the hospital’s short-term living facility.

Life said she has received support from her parents, her two older brothers and her friends, some of whom are dying their hair pink to show solidarity. Aside from shaving her head, she also wants to travel to the St. Jude’s in Denver to visit with some of the children at the hospital.

“I was going to try to go down to Denver and visit their hospital and say hi to a few kids,” she said. “I feel like it’s the right thing to do, that those kids really need it and I want them to feel my support is behind them and they’re not alone when they’re battling cancer.”

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