The Sigma Pi fraternity at Southern Arkansas University recently raised more than $1,700 with their hair on the line in the latest act of support by the Mulerider family to benefit Kaylynn Sands, 2, for her medical treatments in her fight against cancer.
The more money the campus and community put towards the fundraiser, the more members of Sigma Pi who gave up their hair. In the end, at least 14 of the “Sig Pi’s” had their heads shaved down to the scalp in the SAU Reynolds Center Wednesday, March 9.
“This is so awesome! I can’t believe they raised this much. We are sad we can’t be there, but we are in Philadelphia at a doctor appointment for Kaylynn,” said her mother, Anne Sands, who is assistant director of financial aid at SAU and an SAU alum.
Last summer Sands was given the news that her daughter was diagnosed with ganglioneuroblastoma, a cancer which develops in the nerve tissue. Several fundraising efforts have been held by various groups and individuals on campus. Sands and her family have been blown away by the support from the community, and especially the students.
Kaylynn recently had surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which removed about 90% of the tumor. Sands said her daughter is now declared a “cancer survivor.” She will have blood work done once a month and scans every three months for the next year, at which point the doctors will reevaluate Kaylynn’s situation.
Zach Greenhaw, the philanthropy chair of Sigma Pi, said that Kaylynn’s father, John Sands, is fraternity alum and they were all anxious to give “a little brotherly help.”
“These frat’ guys don’t even know John personally, but they came together to help,” said Greenhaw. John Sands graduated from SAU in 1999.
Sigma Pi members who went under the shaver included Obidigbo Nzeribe, Dilan Bever, Luke Callahan, Tyler Gentry, Noah Higdon, Zack Bever, Taylor Harvey, Judson Rateliff, Zach Greenhaw, Dalton Jones, Caleb Glann, Taylor Murphy, and Dylan Burge.
Joe Weeks of the College Barber Shop not only donated $20 toward the cause, but also his time in shaving the students’ heads.
Sands tried to list the other groups who have raised money or shown support: Phi Mu (which she is an alum), Alpha Sigma Alpha, Harrod Hall, SAU cheerleaders, Tutoring Center, Rankin College of Business, football defensive backs, volleyball, softball, Sigma Gamma Rho, men’s basketball, and The Bray.