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Losing it for a Good Cause

Posted on 22/09/2009 12:00am

Cancer survivor Nathan Chapman takes the clippers to father Ryan who raised $4,800 for the B.C. Children's Hospital in return for first growing his beard and then having it and his hair shaved off.

By Molly McNulty - Terrace Standard Published: September 22, 2009

RYAN CHAPMAN no longer has a beard, but in its place is something much more worthwhile: $4,727.70 raised for the B.C. Children's Hospital.

On Sept. 18 during a morning assembly at Uplands Elementary, his son Nathan Chapman shaved everything off, including his head of hair, and a group of students also took turns shaving the head of their teacher, Richard Gray.

Nathan took to shearing his father like a seasoned pro - shaving his head of hair first and then tackling the beard all to the delight of his fellow schoolmates.

That day had been nearly a year in the making, with Nathan and Ryan coming up with idea while Nathan was being treated for leukemia at the B.C. Children's Hospital.

In fact, Nathan, 12, only arrived back in Terrace in August after spending almost a year at the hospital, making the shaving an official welcome home for Nathan as well as an opportunity for him to give back to the hospital.

Before the shave, the family gathered pledges which will ultimately go toward helping to raise awareness for childhood cancer and blood disorders, to raise money to support the oncology program at the hospital and to support children and their families during and after treatment.

Raising nearly $5,000 would not have been possible without the support of the community of Terrace.

When word spread of the family's plan, a number of wonderful things happened: a neighbour on the street donated $500, Nathan was able to explain his goal while being interviewed by Don Cherry and Ron MacLean from the CBC between periods at centre ice at the Sept. 14 Hockeyville NHL exhibition game and his classmates took it upon themselves to start collecting pledges as well.

A few weeks before shaving day, Nathan had said his goal was to raise $2,000 and when all was said and done they had raised more than double, a big surprise for the family. "It's unbelievable, I thought maybe $1,000 and when we came close to that, maybe $2,000. I had no idea that the community would pitch in that much, it's unreal," says Ryan.