These Teenage Boys Shaved Their Heads to Support Classmate with Cancer

Ellen's Good News

After being diagnosed with testicular cancer, sophomore Matt Lemire left Trinity High School in Manchester, NH to undergo two and a half months of chemotherapy. When he returned to school, he was welcomed back with wide smiles, open hugs and shaved heads.

Thirty-six students and eight faculty members shaved their heads last week to offer their support to Matt and show him that he wasn't alone during this difficult time.

This heartwarming pact was put together by Matt's friend, sophomore Richard Brewitt. "Richard would go over after school or in the evening to help Matt along," said Denise Brewitt, Richard's mother and the academic coach at Trinity. "He brought Matt his homework and was tutoring him and helping him out with his classes."

Denise tells the Good News that she was shocked when Richard came home one day and told her that his good friend was sick. Cancer had affected the Brewitt family before - her youngest son, Ryan, spent the first four years of his life undergoing chemotherapy for a rare type of cancer. Ryan is now 12 and in remission.

Seeing his baby brother go through that helped Richard take charge when he found out his friend was going through chemo.

"It was Richard who said, 'I've been talking to the guys about us shaving our heads if Matt loses all of his hair," Denise tells us. "Some kids don't know how to deal with it. I was proud of him for stepping up and knowing Matt needs help and figuring out how to support him."

Altogether, 43 students and eight faculty members shaved their heads. Trinity High School has only 442 students, half of them male. That means approximately 20% of the male population at Trinity got a buzzcut to cheer up their classmate.

"I thought it was awesome they shaved their heads," Matt tells us. "I kind of knew a few friends who told me that they were gonna do it, but I didn't expect over 40 people to do it."

Denise says that Matt's situation has given the male students an opportunity to discuss testicular cancer and how to detect it. "He wasn't embarrassed about it," she says. "He just handled it with humor and grace and he talked to all the kids about it. I think it's been so educational for this whole school."

"I think that kids who go through a life experience like this, there's just something about them - they have a way of looking at life completely differently than anyone else," she adds.

This outpouring of love and support is truly moving, but the best part of the story is that Matt received the good news from his doctors that he's cancer-free.

"We couldn't be more proud of the students effort on behalf of Matt and we are ecstatic about Matt's recent news," said Pat Smith, Dean of Students at Trinity - and one of the administrators to shave his head. "He is a wonderful young man."

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