Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 6, 2006
He gave from his heart – and head
Ryan Nall marked his 16th birthday by shaving his rainbow hair to raise money for cancer
By BILL GLEN
Ryan Nall - After
Althouse outbid everyone for a chance to shave Nall's hair. He donated a total of $250. He had good cause to do so.
"I'm a cancer survivor myself," said the former teacher at Cardinal Leger Junior High. "This hits pretty close to home."
Parish volunteer Sharon Slocombe said the evening was all Nall's idea.
"He was the one who wanted to give all of the proceeds to cancer research. He went out and got a lot of sponsors.
Ryan is a gifted public speaker. I just think it's remarkable for someone his age."
Nearly $2,000 was raised in the evening that included a silent auction on several items. The amount will grow after Nall makes yet another personal donation.
"Every Christmas, Ryan receives money from his Confirmation godparents who live in Newfoundland. We have known them for a long time," said his mother, Patsy Nall.
"His Confirmation godfather is dying from cancer. This year, Ryan saved the cheque and we'll cash it in their names with the cancer society."
Nall is a Grade 11 student at Archbishop MacDonald High School. Through the school's religion program, he volunteers at the Elves Centre, assisting mentally handicapped and physically disabled children with their special needs. Nall also volunteers at the Krystal Kids Youth Centre, a drop-in centre for inner city children.
He was an altar server at his parish where he has enrolled to become an acolyte. When he can, Nall assists the parish's youth group leader.
"I want to be a high school social studies teacher because it's the study of how people interact with each other. I like that. It's intriguing," Nall said.
When most teenagers wonder how much they can get out of life for themselves, Nall is a rare exception who spends countless hours figuring out ways to help others.
"The world gives us so much. Why aren't we giving back?" he said. "Everyone can make a difference. They just have to try."
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