Junior Brian Lalley and the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team shed their locks for cancer research

From an outside perspective, the long locks sported by a handful of the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team this season could be interpreted merely as a fashion statement. But in reality, vanity has nothing to do with it.

After witnessing his sister battle and beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma three years ago, junior midfielder Brian Lalley has changed the way he looks at the world.

“I’ve had a number of family members affected by cancer but to see your sister go through something like that is awful,” Lalley, a native of Orchard Park, N.Y., said. “When you see an immediate family member go through cancer, you want to do all that you can to remedy that because it could always come back.”

With the help of his teammates, Lalley has raised nearly $2,000 in donations for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in honor of Lalley’s sister and colon cancer in honor of sophomore James Green’s father all by shedding their lovely locks.

“There are a few guys on this team that like to grow out their hair,” Lalley said. “But before this fundraiser, I had never grown out my hair. So I wanted to make sure I did something to help cancer research when I had it cut.

“I’ve been thinking about doing a hair cutting fundraiser for a while. Getting our hair cut, whether it was a full shave or just a hair cut, stood as a symbol of us losing hair for cancer research.”

Lalley and 15 of his teammates lined up last weekend at Posh Salon in Columbus to shed their hair in the name of cancer awareness.

“This fundraiser was a challenge to get together because the guys are busy with classes, practice and games, plus we had to find a salon that would participate,” Lalley said. “Posh Salon agreed to cut our hair for free because a few of their employees’ family members had gone through similar diseases so they were excited to help the cause.”

And the compassion Joe Breschi, Ohio State head coach, sees in his student-athletes could not please the 10-year veteran coach more.

“I think it’s great,” Breschi said. “We try to express to our guys how important it is to give back to the community and what a privilege and honor it is to be a part of the Ohio State Athletics Department. For us, it is a reality check to be involved with the 2nd & 7 Foundation, Americans Supporting Americans and the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“As we introduce these kids to the community, they are now getting involved in things themselves. From Brian Lalley starting and encouraging the guys on the team to do the hair cut fundraiser for cancer to Charlie Billingsley organizing a 5K run to raise money for 2nd & 7 that’s what it is all about. As coaches, our job is to introduce them to things that are going on in the real world and they have responded greatly. This is a great group of guys.”

by Emily Meyer, Ohio State Athletics Communications