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Boston Community Leadership Academy junior shaves head to support cancer research

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  November 21, 2012 01:57 PM

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Alison Davey made a promise to cut her
hair and she followed through with it.

Alison Davey is used to succeeding. The New Mission junior is a BSA athlete, a star soccer and basketball player, and excels at academics -- all while tirelessly raising money to support cancer research.

In 2009, Davey was devastated upon hearing that her aunt in California was diagnosed with cancer and decided to do something about it.

“She’s my whole world,” Davey said. “I write about her in school and I text her every day to stay strong.

“Everything she does inspires me, and everything she does, I want to do. She’s the best.”

A recent visit with her aunt triggered her big idea to support cancer research.

“Seeing her was emotional and I was just like, ‘I have to do something,’ ” Davey said.

“With my guidance counselors, I set a goal of raising $1,000 for the cause from Oct. 13th to Nov. 13th. And then it just blew up.”

Because it was breast cancer awareness month, Davey decided that October was the perfect month to start a fundraiser. She baked brownies, cupcakes, and other goods every night to sell for a dollar the following day during her lunch period. She also handmade pink ribbons she sold, posted flyers, and provided her soccer team with pink shoelaces.

Then, she had a bigger idea.

“I decided if I reached my goal of raising $1,000 I would shave my head and donate it to locks of love,” she said.

As if shaving her head weren't courageous enough, she decided to do it in front of her entire school.

“I heard there would be a pep rally in November and everyone suggested I shave my head during it,” she said. “I’m not nervous about shaving it.

“It will grow back.”

With her hair braided in two, Davey walked into a packed gym ready to kick off the pep rally.

“Today, [Davey] will donate her beautiful hair to Locks of Love and is doing it with tremendous courage in front of us,” BCLA headmaster Brett Dickens said in her introduction. “We’re here to support Aly, but she’s the one giving us so much strength.”

Davey then took the stage to thank her classmates before her haircut.

“I’m proud to stand before you and say I raised $1,250 to support cancer research,” she said to a roaring crowd. “By shaving my head, my hair will be more than my everyday ponytail.

“It will provide security for a child with cancer, and that is a great thing.”

Davey’s brother, Joe Davey, a former BCLA student proceeded to shave her head in front of the audience that chanted “Aly!”

“I was a little overwhelmed, but she has such a great attitude,” said her mother, Catherine Davey. “She was like, ‘I’m doing it Mom!’ I’m very proud of her.”

After the shave, Davey’s soccer teammates sprayed her new haircut pink.

“I thought If I was going to do it I had to go all out and get people’s attention,” Davey said, triumphantly packaging her braids to deliver to Locks of Love. “It felt really good and I’m happy I did it.”

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public School athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

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