Going Bald for a Great Cause: Scott’s Story

Feb 19 2024

Hairstyles have evolved over the years, but what hasn’t changed is the importance of what’s growing atop your head. Long, short, spiky, wavy – hair in whatever form has long served as a marker of identity, attractiveness, even status.

So, what would make you willingly decide to shave it all off? For Scott Carley, a physical therapist in our Greenville market, the answer is easy – a good cause.

“I have long hair, so I think shaving it all off could be particularly impactful and make quite a statement that I hope others find inspiring,” Scott explains. “In fact, more than any fundraising efforts, I hope it inspires them to think about some of these patient populations that get overlooked.”

The patients he’s referring to are adolescent cancer patients. Scott officially signed up to take part in this year’s annual campaign for St. Baldrick’s, a charity that provides funding for childhood cancer.

Each year, thousands show up to events across the nation to show their support, often shaving their heads as a way to raise awareness and money for the cause. In fact, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System has received regular funding from this organization over the years to help support its adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients.

“Since 2018, the support from St. Baldrick’s has allowed our AYA program to focus on providing state-of-the-art clinical trials for patients so they can get the best therapies available while staying close to home,” Hal Crosswell, MD, director of the Bon Secours St. Francis AYA program explains. “The funding has also helped us develop our own AYA clinical registry, which allows us to understand the full impact of cancer on a patient – whether that be financial, psychological, social, etc. We are so thrilled one of our own is shedding locks to support our patients through this ongoing collaboration with St. Baldrick’s.”

Dr. Crosswell and Scott actually know each other from outside the workplace, attending the same church – a fact that only added weight to Scott’s resolve.

“When I found out Bon Secours and the work we’re doing is directly benefitting from the funds that are raised for St. Baldrick’s, it was just another reason I felt very much called to do this,” Scott says. “I’m proud of what our hospital system is able to accomplish through our Mission to be good help, and I think that’s what drives a lot, if not all, our staff. We’re willing to make sacrifices and go through some uncomfortable times for the good of our community and our patients.”

In fact, Scott says his entire department has rallied behind his decision to shave his hair all off for charity.

“There was an immediate outpouring of donations – I’m sure it’s because a lot of people want to see my hair gone – but I like to think it’s more they see what this represents and the cause it helps,” he shares. “There’s been a lot of encouragement and support.”

All jokes aside, Scott hopes the drastic change will be a good conversation starter that he can use to continue spreading awareness even after the St. Baldrick’s campaign ends.

“I’ve had my long hair for about four to five years now and most people love it, so it’s even harder for me to part with because it typically gets good reviews,” he laughs. “But I keep telling myself this is way bigger than me, my vanity or what people think about me. While I do still get nervous about it, it’s an easy decision when you remember so many young kids and adults have to do this, and they don’t get a choice. It’s because they’re losing their hair, battling cancer. That is an instant thought that keeps you grounded, and it’s what I explained to my 9-year-old daughter who was upset about me cutting my hair. Even she quickly dried her tears in understanding.”

Learn more about supporting St. Baldrick’s and Scott’s cause.

Also, learn about the cancer care services we provide at Bon Secours.  

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