PLAMONDON - The senior volleyball men’s team and staff at École Beauséjour are coming together this season to support one of their teammates who was diagnosed with cancer over the summer.
Last week, the Plamondon-based school’s team and staff dyed their hair pink while some participated in a head shave. The shave known as a 'hair massacure’ is part of a provincial campaign to raise awareness for children in Alberta with life-threatening diseases.
The Grade 11 student, Lucius Plamondon, was diagnosed with a cancerous germ cell tumour in recent months. Over the summer, he went through several rounds of chemotherapy. While he is recovering and his diagnosis looks promising, he is grateful for his friends, teachers and teammates who have supported him along the way, he said.
“I feel really lucky to have an amazing group of friends. Not long ago they all visited me when I was in my chemo treatments this summer. They also made t-shirts as well. I feel really lucky to have friends like that.”
The group is aiming to raise upwards of $5,000 for the Kids With Cancer Society, a cause that has helped the Plamondon family through their journey, said teacher and organizer Sara Doody.
“Our school at École Beauséjour is very small... so anybody going through anything like this is like a member of our family. Everybody wants to support and do something,” she said.
In the coming months and during the school volleyball season, the team will be gathering donations and sharing QR codes to allow people to support the fundraiser. Additionally, several school staff have pledged to join in on the ‘hair massacre’ as well to support the fundraiser, Doody explained.
“We have a few teachers that wanted to chip in and shave their heads, so we thought let’s put a price on their head.”
At the $1,000 mark, Principal Étienne Vaillancourtt will shave his head, followed by guidance counsellor Troy Gratton for the $3,000 goal, and teacher Franco Giammarioli for the $5,000 mark.
“We’re hoping to raise enough funds to encourage more people so that we can raise more money for kids with cancer,” said Doody
As of Sunday the fundraiser reached over $1,800.
For Lucius’s parents Darcy and Monita, the support through the devastating diagnosis has been touching from the small rural community, said Darcy who, is also a coach and Phys Ed. teacher at the school.
“It’s hard enough to know how to deal with this and things are going well as far as the treatment, but it’s really touching having everyone in the community supporting him, backing him up and keeping things positive.”
He added, “We have been really helped out by Kids with Cancer society. They’ve been incredibly helpful for parents that try to guide their kids that are going through stuff like this. We didn’t know anyone that had kids with cancer or a brain tumour,” in the small rural hamlet.
As the family goes through this difficult journey, Darcy says the outpouring of support has helped their spirits.
“It’s incredibly kind for people to reach out. Sometimes you don’t know what to say for people that are going through this. You may want to leave them alone with it, but just letting them know that you’re around, especially if you’ve got somebody that’s gone through it too, it’s encouraging to chat with somebody to know you’re not alone.”
To donate to École Beauséjou visit our web story for the link.