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UMM professor taking cuts for cancer cure

Jenn Goodnough, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Morris, has a personal connection to cancer. Her mother is a survivor. Wanting to support research, advocacy, and services for patients and their families, Goodnough has decided to donate her hair for wigs for cancer patients. Her gift comes with a challenge. For every $1,000 raised for the American Cancer Society through UMM's Relay for Life, scheduled for April 30, 2010, she'll cut off one inch.

"I wanted to do this for several reasons," Goodnough said. "My mother is a two-time cancer survivor, ovarian and kidney. I know her diagnosis and treatment is due to screening and research funded by groups like the American Cancer Society. Also, several close friends and colleagues from the UMM community have battled cancer. And finally, the UMM students who organize the Relay For Life for the past three years have inspired and challenged me to think about what I can be doing to help. So, in honor of my mother, I hope to help this year's Relay For Life reach its fundraising and awareness goals."

Goodnough's hair will be cut at 7:30 p.m. on the campus mall, where Relay for Life takes place. Her hair is 15 inches long. If UMM's Relay for Life goal of $15,000 is reached, she sais she'll cut off every inch.

UMM Students Against Cancer organizes the on-campus Relay for Life. Luminaria light the walking path throughout the night bearing names and messages for survivors and those lost to cancer. They can be purchased in honor of a survivor or in memory of a loved one from a team member or on the day of the event. Entertainment will be provided throughout the evening.

Fourteen UMM teams will continue to fundraise until the day of the event. Those wishing to support a team can make a donation at, or visit the Relay For Life table in the Student Center. A photo of Jenn will be in the Student Center to illustrate how much hair she has "lost" to date.

Relay For Life is an American Cancer Society fundraiser that provides an opportunity to celebrate the lives of people who battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Each team is asked to have at least one representative on the track at all times during the event. Relays are overnight events up to 12 hours in length.