Jacob Telford isn’t about to let Type 1 Diabetes slow him down.
He was diagnosed in 2007, and has fundraised for the Canadian Diabetes Association over the last two years.
A Grade 7 student at Cataline elementary school in Williams Lake, Jacob spearheaded a fundraising campaign in November and raised $1,780 on his own. His school also fundraised, bringing the total to $2,200.
The campaign ran for a couple of weeks in November because the healthcare company Nova Nordisk Canada, said it would match funds raised during the month of November.
To augment his efforts, Jacob went door-to-door collecting donations, hit up family and friends, and took his cause to School District #27.
He made a presentation to the staff, but also had a private meeting with his former teacher Mark Thiessen, who became the superintendent this year.
“Mr. Thiessen closed the door when my dad brought me to the meeting,” Jacob said before the hair cutting started. “I asked him if I raised money would he get his head shaved and he said anything over $1,500 he would.
Jacob posed that if we raised over $2,000 would Thiessen be willing to lose his eyebrows, but heard “no,” at that point Thiessen’s wife Tracie drew the line.
On Dec. 14, Thiessen showed up at the school to keep his part of the bargain.
The haircutting took place in the school gymnasium, with most teachers and students watching the proceedings.
As Jacob began to cut the superintendent’s hair with electric clippers, the students giggled and cheered, “awesome, awesome.” As the Thiessen’s locks fell to the floor, the children began singing, Soft Kitty and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Smiling Thiessen said, “no turning back now,” as principal Mike Grace shaved a cul-de-sac around Thiessen’s head.
Two other students — Sara Turko and Marco Rigoni — were recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and the two joined in with the hair cutting. Chris Armstrong teaches at Cataline and Nesika elementary schools and volunteered to have his head shaved as well because of the Cataline students’ fundraising efforts at the Terry Fox run.
Thiessen praised Jacob for his efforts.
“He took the challenge on and raised all the money,” he said.