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HomeNewsLeslie Frost Student Shaves His Head For Six Years To Raise Money...

Leslie Frost Student Shaves His Head For Six Years To Raise Money For Cancer Research

KAWARTHA LAKES – A worldwide pandemic is not going to stop 11-year-old Collin Deshane.

In first grade Collin was inspired by his teacher,Madame Maire-France Leclerc, who shaved her head to raise money for cancer. He has followed in her footsteps for the last six years with no plans of stopping even during the pandemic.

“It’s important to me, at first because it looked fun and I had a teacher that did it, and then recently, I’ve had a neighbour across the road pass away and a family member so it’s really important to me so I can help, so nothing like that can happen to anybody again,” said Collin. “I quite like it, it’s fun, I go around the neighbourhood and hand out flyers (before the lockdown), so people can donate. This year I got passed my goal.”

To date, Collin has raised approximately $2,500 for Pedal for Hope. This year he had a goal of 1,000 dollars but has proudly surpassed it.

In 2005, the Peterborough Chapter of Cops for Cancer took on a new identity and the Pedal for Hope Cycling Team was established. Local police personnel, a retired N.H.L. hockey player and a crew of support staff have been cycling every year since to raise money and awareness.

Every April, for three weeks, the Pedal for Hope team would cycle throughout Central Ontario visiting approximately 50 local schools, delivering a message about kids living with cancer while raising funds for pediatric cancer research.

According to Detective Sgt. Josh McGrath with the Peterborough Police Service and Pedal for Hope team member, every spring, members of the Peterborough Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Durham Regional Police Service, Metrolinx and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shed their uniforms, hop on their bikes and pedal throughout Central Ontario to raise funds for the cause.

“Over the past 16 years, Pedal for Hope, with the help of all the schools we have visited, have raised over 5.5 million dollars to support pediatric cancer research,” he said. “We would love to be in the schools providing a message about how we can all stay safe and help prevent cancer, but this year we have to do everything virtually.”

According to Collin’s mom, Robin DeShane, Collin attends Leslie Frost Elementary School where he proudly and bravely sports his long hair, every year, noting that he grows it for the entire year and shaves it every spring.

“He marches to the beat of his own drum,” she said. “People can give him a hard time about having long hair, but he is so proud, it doesn’t’ phase him one bit, he is so proud to do this every year.”

Collin as he approached deadline for donations and a fresh shave
Courtesy – Robin DeShane

McGrath says having team members like Collin is so important to the fundraising cause and to creating awareness in the schools and in the community.

“Collin is a true ambassador to Pedal for Hope and to supporting the fight against pediatric cancer. Collin should never worry about getting hassled for his hair, Cops for Cancer started when a young boy was fighting his battle against cancer and lost his hair,” he said. “As a show of support, a Sgt from the Edmonton police service shaved his head to show that kids fighting their battles have support from the police and the community.”

Now, every year, members of Pedal for Hope shave their heads to show their support, added McGrath.

 “We are so thankful that there are kids like Collin who will show his support with us,” said McGrath.

Last year the event was forced to go virtual but DeShane forged ahead with his fundraising in spite of the set back, having his head shaved at home and recorded.

“I’ll keep doing it, it’s for a good cause, its actually quite fun for me,” said Collin. “It makes me feel happy cause I’ve done something good to help research cancer and to help other people, it makes me feel good.”

DeShane noted that the losses that Collin has experienced only provided him with more motivation to make a difference.

“He’s compassionate and very determined,” she said. “It’s the whole idea of giving back and that there is a purpose greater than himself. He will continue, we wondered how long it would go, with the social pressure of growing his hair, but I think he will continue, I don’t think that will have an impact on things at all.”

To learn more and to donate to Pedal For Hope visit: https://support.cancer.ca/site/TR/CopsforCancer/COPS_NW_even_?fr_id=27813&pg=entry.

To donate to Collin visit: https://support.cancer.ca/site/TR/Cops%20for%20Cancer/?px=13415131&pg=personal&fr_id=27813.

Donations are open until May 7, 2021.

“I feels really good, I’m quite proud,” said Collin.

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Jennifer Walker
Jennifer decided to study journalism after having a life long passion for writing. She began her career as a reporter for the Uxbridge Times Journal and moved on to freelance work for various publications after her and her husband welcomed their daughters. She has been published in various Durham Region newspapers, the Durham Parent Magazine as well as Equine Wellness. Jennifer continues to follow her dreams as a wife, mother and journalist and is so excited to join the team at Kawartha411.

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