Director of Architecture shaves his head for childhood cancer research

Nick Jonihakis, Director of Architecture at Sevan Multi-Site Solutions, shaved his head for Jax Brave the Shave 2019 for the second year in a row. The event helps support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research.

Jonihakis got involved in the event in 2018 after he learned his neighbor, Ryan, has acute lymphoblastic lymphoma. At least a dozen kids from Jonihakis’ neighborhood are involved in this year’s head shave, including his two sons, Gabriel and Noah. Ryan’s mom also proudly participates in shaving her head.

Jonihakis is passionate about giving and Charity, one of Sevan’s core values. He and his sons have surpassed their fundraising goals this year. Jonihakis and his sons raised about $2,400 total, with Sevan giving $500.

And every donation counts. Jonihakis explained how childhood cancer research is different than research for adult cancer.

“Most funding goes to adult cancer,” he said. “The more I learn the more I want to do this.”

This year, Jonihakis went all out. He had been growing his hair out since last year’s shave and dyed it dark red for a week before shaving it all off. He said it takes a while for the skin on your newly shaven head to tan and match the rest of your body, but it’s a small concern compared to the bigger picture.

St. Baldrick’s has a donation feature on its website, www.stbaldricks.org, where anyone can give to specific people or events, and there’s even a feature to search locally to see who is involved in your neighborhood. Jonihakis said when you discover that someone in your neighborhood is affected, it makes it more real and makes you want to help more.

Jonihakis said that just $10 can help. He explained that he simply asked people to skip going out for lunch for a day or pass up that overpriced coffee drink. People were happy to give that money to a worthy cause.

Jax Brave the Shave was held on March 2 at V’s Pizza in Jacksonville, Florida. Although fundraising for this specific event may have ended, St. Baldrick’s accepts donations all year round.

Jonihakis said his biggest takeaway from being involved with Jax Brave the Shave and St. Baldrick’s is that people do genuinely want to help and they’re more than willing to participate.

“People really do care,” Jonihakis said. “They do want to be involved as long they’re presented with a way to do it.”

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