The heartwarming reason why 63 people shaved their heads - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

The heartwarming reason why 63 people shaved their heads

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. -

It may have been the most epic, awesome final period ever at Liberty Middle School in Cumming. Students packed into the gym, cheering as more than 60 of their teachers, coaches and school resource officers and classmates lined up to get their heads shaved.

With the Liberty Middle School band playing "Another One Bites the Dust," another one did.

Football coach Todd Holbrooke sat in the hot seat grinning, the clippers mowing through what's left of his beloved brown hair.

Giving it all up to honor 14-year old Sydney Ridings, by raising money for CURE Childhood Cancer, in a gesture so big, it left her at a loss for words. Sydney says, "It was an overwhelming amount of support, and love."

For Sydney's mom Tammy Ridings, the day was emotional. Tammy says "It was just great to see the community come out, not only for Sydney, but for every child fighting childhood cancer."

Sydney came to Liberty Middle two and a half years ago, a fresh faced sixth grader, freshly diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.

She's now on her second round, balancing chemo with drama, radiation with science fairs, living with fighting to live.

Her mom Tammy says, "I remember when she was first diagnosed. The first tear that came to her eye was wondering how the kids were going to respond to her not having any hair. So, to see that they have supported her. Whether she wears a wig, or whether she doesn't. Whether she wears a hat, or whether she comes bald, has been amazing."

In all 63 people gave up their hair in this St. Baldrick's celebration, raising $15,000 for research into treating – and maybe one day curing - cancers like the one Sydney's fighting. Tammy Ridings says her family wants to give back by raising as much money as possible to fund critical research. Tammy says, "We want that opportunity for her to be well. So, that we can move forward, and do the type of work we know that needs to be done. Helping other kids move forward."

Liberty Middle School graduation coach Jamie Rife organized the mass head-shaving event. Every school resource officer from across Forsyth County showed up to face the clippers. So did local firefighters. Rife says, "It shows what Forsyth County is all about, and the fact that we can come together, for this young lady, nd do something incredible and amazing. It's just a testament to our community."

If you notice someone missing a whole lot of hair in Forsyth County, smile and say hello to another member, of Sydney's Army.

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