NHS hosts their first Wig-Out Fundraiser to spread awareness on rare cancers


Taken by Rohun Voruganti

Senior Will Bramanti wears his wig in gym class.

Rohun Voruganti, Sports Editor

National Honors Society members and faculty showed their support for cancer awareness and raised money for the Rare Initiative by wearing wigs today, Dec. 22. Advisor Kathleen Aylward, president Aaditi Padhi, vice president Cole Kirby, and secretary Davina Finney will be running the fundraiser.

The Rare Initiative is an organization dedicated to solely donating money to rare cancers. In the U.S., almost one in four people diagnosed with cancer have a “rare” form, causing a lower rate of survival. The organization is working with various scientists, translational researchers, bioinformatics, specialist, and mathematics modeling experts to find new ways to combat and understand different cancerous cells in the human body.

“Not only is this event for a great cause, but it also brings our school closer. I think it is awesome to be able to raise awareness for a special cause… I hope that people will gain knowledge and understanding of the hardships that many of these cancer patients are facing,” Kirby said.

NHS is hosting this event on the 22 because 22% of cancers are classified as rare. They asked members to raise 22$ donations but have accepted donations lower than that if the price can not be met.

“When people are diagnosed with cancer 22% of those cancers are considered rare, and those rare cancers only see 3% of [the] money raised for research. So the Rare Initiative is a nonprofit fund where all the money will be donated to study,” Aylward said.

Anyone who has participated in the event will receive six hours of community service including non-members, if they see Aylward or other NHS advisor Gil Fuhr. Members can get their own six hours and an additional six hours, if they have six other people to participate. This will be the organization’s main incentive to spread awareness throughout the community about rare cancer research.

“I feel very proud of myself for wearing a wig and supporting those people that have rare cancer. I believe even though $22 might not be a lot of money to some people it definitely can help out with research and resources to help prevent this cancer,” senior NHS member Griffin Eddy said.

Overall, the fundraiser was a huge success and many students throughout Westford Academy showed their awareness for the 22% of rare cancers.

“It feels awesome to be able to say we [class of 2022] started this event. There is nothing better than having that feeling of knowing that you are impacting people’s lives in a positive way and paving the way for future students to also have this experience,” Kirby said.