In early June, Laura Veenstra’s mother called her with news that yet another loved one had been diagnosed with cancer—this time it was her 43-year-old cousin who she is very close to. Having seen so many people she loves affected by cancer, Veenstra knew it was time she made a contribution to finding a cure.
When she learned of her cousin’s fear of losing her hair, Veenstra decided on the perfect fundraiser: she would campaign for a month and then shave her head on a Facebook livestream.
Her fundraising goal was $3,500, an amount she never thought she’d beat, but in less than a month Veenstra had raised more than $4,500 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“Since I started the fundraiser, so many people have talked with me about their story,” she said. “It has been so humbling when I hear what other people have gone through.”
Veenstra has worked at Community Living for more than 28 years and said that her coworkers were one of the most supportive groups of her fundraiser. Other contributors included friends, her church All Saints’ Anglican, local businesses, and even people she has never met who found the campaign online.
The head shave took place on July 6 courtesy of Jenuine Hair Salon. (Watch the livestream here).
And then Veenstra got some great news. “Right after the campaign finished I got a text from my cousin saying that after a month of living in the hospital she was finally well enough to be released,” said Veenstra. “It felt like the perfect ending to the fundraiser and made my week.”
Veenstra will be sending the cash into the Canadian Cancer Society next week but you can still donate to her cause online here.
Veenstra has grown to love her new ‘do’ and said she’s even considering making it her permanent look. “It’s so nice and breezy in the hot weather,” she said. “I don’t even need the AC on in the car. I’ve also never gotten so many compliments on my hair in my life!”
Veenstra visited the Canadian Cancer Society, Huntsville branch volunteers in September. They were grateful for her donation.
“There are so many types of cancer out there,” she told them. “I am hoping that this small amount that I am trying to raise can help make a positive difference.”
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