Bison athletes get hair cut in support of cancer survivors

Athletes donate their locks, raise funds for cancer research

Bison athletes getting their hair cut for cancerFrom L to R: Jonah Wasylak, Liam Grace and Brett Stovin. Photo by Asad Aman

Growing out the flow has been something hockey players have been doing for decades, from Jaromir Jagr’s legendary locks in the 1990s to Patrick Kane’s playoff mullet of today. Jonah Wasylak and Brett Stovin of the Bison men’s hockey team, as well as Liam Grace of the Bison football team, snipped their hair on Feb. 9 in support of cancer research.

The trio had their hair cut at Salon Ca to make a wig for cancer patients experiencing hair loss. Wasylak said that both he and Stovin wanted to do this last year but they didn’t have the length to do it. You need about seven ponytails to make a wig; between Wasylak, Stovin, and Grace, they collected 20.

“We thought about last year, but we weren’t quite there for the length. We decided to wait a year and grow it out,” he said.

Cancer has touched almost everyone, and Wasylak has had his own experience with the disease as his grandma was diagnosed with it.

“My grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago,” he said. “She’s beaten [it], she’s good, but still it’s a scary thing. It’s not everyday you hear the positive stories. We just wanted to use our personal experiences and help raise awareness for everyone.”

Stovin said afterwards that although it was strange to have all his hair cut, he felt good knowing it was going to be used for a good cause.

“It was quite a good feeling seeing all the hair go into that bag,” he said. “It’s nice to know someone is going to be happy about receiving a wig out of this.”

In Stovin’s case, cancer has affected many members of his family, as well as a member of the men’s hockey team, so this was special cause for him.

“It kind of runs in my family,” he said. “Everywhere you look, it’s there – it takes so much courage to fight it. It was like if they have the courage to fight an illness like that, we can cut our hair and do a small little bit to help out.”

Both Stovin and Wasylak have been sporting the longer hair for quite some time, and Stovin is feeling quite different after the cut.

“There’s not going to be any hair in my mouth when I’m eating, there’s definitely a nice cool breeze on my ears,” Stovin said with a laugh.

Along with the wigs the athletes were able to donate, both Stovin and Wasylak set up a GoFundMe to raise money for their cause. They started with a goal of $500 but that was quickly surpassed and they then set a goal of $4,000, which they nearly accomplished. Before the Bisons took to the ice on Feb. 10 against the Alberta Golden Bears, Stovin and Wasylak presented a cheque of $3,755 to the Canadian Cancer Society.