Education

Cal Poly students shave their heads to fight cancer

Cuck Fancer fundraiser comes to Cal Poly

Ben Teller, founder of Cuck Fancer, and Cal Poly student Evan Williams talk about the fundraising, head-shaving event held at Cal Poly on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Cuck Fancer provides support to young adults fighting cancer.
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Ben Teller, founder of Cuck Fancer, and Cal Poly student Evan Williams talk about the fundraising, head-shaving event held at Cal Poly on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Cuck Fancer provides support to young adults fighting cancer.

A cancer survivor who founded a nonprofit to benefit patients visited Cal Poly on Thursday to lead a group head-shave for 16 male students as part of a campaign to raise funds and awareness about the disease.

Ben Teller, the founder of a nonprofit with the not-so-serious name of Cuck Fancer, hosted the event on Dexter Lawn. His organization’s mission is to help cancer patients by providing scholarships to cover rent, medical bills, tuition and other costs.

The nonprofit has been on campus all week, offering information, selling T-shirts and registering people to become potential bone marrow donors. The students who shaved their heads completed fundraising goals to benefit the cause.

Teller, who helped shave heads Thursday, said his family became financially strapped after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma three times, at ages 18, 20 and 22.

“For my parents, it was a heavy financial burden,” said Teller, a Los Angeles resident who attended UC Irvine. “The few scholarships I got made a big difference.”

Teller said similar awareness campaigns will be held in coming weeks at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC San Diego, among other campuses.

The name Cuck Fancer was adopted, Teller said, to “make fighting cancer fun” and not to take it “too seriously.”

The head-shaving event also is a way to bring positive awareness, through solidarity, to cancer.

“It’s a conversation starter about cancer, which can be hard to talk about,” Teller said. “We just want to open the conversation.”

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