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Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

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Teen Cancer Survivor Hosts “For Hair’s Sake” Benefit at NSU on Sun. April 7 to Collect Ponytails

Local stylists offer complimentary haircuts to “Locks for a Cause” donors

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – Most 16-year-olds have enough worries from getting their driver’s license, to passing their next exam, to making plans with that special someone. But when Nova Southeastern University (NSU) junior Lesly Viera was 16, she had a different kind of concern – she was diagnosed with cancer.

Doctors discovered a lymphoma located between her heart and lungs, so Lesly went through chemotherapy to beat the disease. Now, the 20-year-old biology major is stronger than ever and wants to give back to other teens and young adults affected by cancer. So despite carrying a full course load at NSU, Lesly started and continues to run Locks for a Cause – a student organization that raises funds for cancer research.

On Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the group will host its third annual “For Hair’s Sake” cut-a-thon to raise funds for cancer research and collect ponytails for Locks of Love, a non-profit that creates high-quality wigs for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or a medical condition.

Local salon Shear Designs by Carolyne Gordon, as well as several independent stylists, will offer complimentary haircuts to hair and monetary donors. Criteria for donating hair includes:

  • Hair must be at least 6 inches long;
  • Dyed hair is acceptable, but bleached is not;
  • Hair must be clean, and dry at time of donation;
  • Those unable to donate locks are also welcome to make a financial contribution.

Last year, Lesly and the Locks for a Cause group raised more than $360 and collected more than 155 ponytails in one day. This year, the group hopes to out-do their previous event.

“A hairpiece can give a child confidence and can make a terrible situation a little easier to cope with,” Lesly said. “Our hope is that we can bring the community together and get even more donations this time!”

WHO: Cancer Survivor Lesly Viera and the NSU “Locks for a Cause” Student Group

WHAT: “For Hair’s Sake,” a “Locks for a Cause” Ponytail Donation Drive

WHEN: Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue in Davie, in the Don Taft University Center


About Nova Southeastern University: Located in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited Florida University dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 28,000 students and is the eighth largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The University awards associate’s, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, specialist, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences.  Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU was also awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification in 2010 for the University’s significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement.   For more information about NSU visit


Andra Liwag
NSU Office of Public Affairs
954-262-5309 office
954-873-8494 cell