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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MU Urban Scholars host third annual Fortunate Choices event

Rachel Bandy & Jack Ryan
Photo by Ricky Labrada
Students get their hair cut at the third annual Fortunate Choices event Oct. 4.

Marquette University students donated their hair to support cancer patients at the MU Urban Scholars’ third annual Fortunate Choices event last Thursday in Coughlin Hall.

Diana Mandujano, a junior in the College of Communication, said the MU Urban Scholars received 47 hair donations and raised $251 in monetary donations.

“Urban Scholars is a scholarship program on campus that participates in community and leadership events,” Mandujano said.

Mandujano said the the scholars partnered with non-profit group Children With Hair Loss for the event this year.

Children With Hair Loss provides children who have suffered hair loss from cancer or other illnesses with a wig at no cost. 

Alumna Carina Belmontes said Fortunate Choices was created after she lost her grandmother to breast cancer her senior year at Marquette in 2017.

“It was a really dark moment,” Belmontes said. “But I had a really great support group within the Marquette University Urban Scholars.”

Belmontes said she came to the MU Urban Scholars with a vision for Fortunate Choices. 

Belmontes said the event is named after her grandmother Fortunata and it was founded with the motto, “It wasn’t their choice to lose their hair, but it is our choice to donate ours.”

“(Fortunate Choices) is a great event for us to come together as a family and a community,” Mandujano said. “A lot of us come from backgrounds where our hair is … a part of our identity.”

Mandujano said it’s bittersweet when she cuts her hair at the Fortunate Choices event.

“It’s who I am, it’s what I’ve grown up with,” Mandujano said. “But I’m giving it to someone else so hopefully they’ll have the same happiness and joy that my hair has brought me.”

Hair donors had their hair styled in braids or ponytails, which were then cut and put into individual, labeled bags. 

Mandujano said the first annual event was donated to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, but this year, she said the Scholars wanted to move toward helping children.

Mandujano said the only requirement for donating hair was having 8 inches in length. She said people with color-treated hair could still donate. She added that people could donate money if they did not have 8 inches of hair.

Bridget McDermott, a junior in the College of Health Sciences, said it was her first time donating her hair at the event. McDermott said she donated her hair because she initially saw the fliers for it.

“I have 8 plus inches of hair and someone doesn’t, so might as well,” McDermott said.

Noemy Serna Hernandez, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said Thursday was the third time she donated her hair for a cause. She said she donated her hair once in high school and once at the Fortunate Choices event her freshman year.

“I just think if I have the hair, I might as well do something with it instead of just throwing it out,” Hernandez said. “I think it’s a great way to give back in a way that is very practical, but also a kind way to care.”

Hernandez said she felt good after getting her hair cut.

“It’s really nice to just have that extra weight off, but also it’s good to know that it’s going towards something else instead of just for my own personal benefit,” Hernandez said.

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