U.S. men's curler Matt Hamilton donates his hair to charity, raises funds for brain cancer
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- U.S. men's curler Matt Hamilton honored Brain Cancer Awareness Month by cutting his hair for charity.
During the 2018 and 2021 Winter Olympics, Hamilton's hair was more than just a fashion statement. His long locks were also raising money for a cause.
The two-time curling Olympian from McFarland, Wisconsin cut off 12 inches of his hair to donate to "Wigs for Kids," a charity for children experiencing hair loss.
It was Hamilton's first haircut in more than three years.
"It's just hair, it will grow back," Hamilton said during the event at Great Clips in Sun Prairie. "It's an opportunity to give some self-esteem to some kid who is going through chemo or alopecia. It's a confidence booster and hopefully we can make someone's life a little easier."
The haircut was part of Hamilton's ongoing fundraising efforts for StacheStrong, an 501c3 nonprofit organization that has raised over $2 million for brain cancer research and funded 17 research grants and clinical trials.
Hamilton teamed up with StacheStrong during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics after president and co-founder Colin Gerner noticed his signature mustache and unique hairstyle.
"Matt did it out of the kindness of his heart and we started to build a rapport, and he wanted to do more for our cause for brain cancer research," said Gerner.
Gerner launched StacheStrong after his brother GJ was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadliest primary malignant brain tumor in adults. When GJ went into brain surgery in 2018, that's when the organization got its signature name.
"It was really just a family rallying call for my brother who went into brain surgery and shaved down to a mustache," Gerner said. "My dad and I followed suit. It was the only thing you can do when your older brother is going through this. I coined it as #StacheStrong and we started to grow them as organically as it could be."
GJ passed away in 2019 after his battle with brain cancer, but his legacy continues to touch many lives.
When Hamilton first joined StacheStrong, he didn't personally know anyone suffering from GBM, but that later changed after learning about his uncle's diagnosis.
"Two, three months later, I found out my uncle has stage 4, and during the Olympics on Valentine's Day we got the news he passed away," Hamilton said. "Brain cancer and any cancer sucks, so any way I can contribute is good by me."
StacheStrong currently has a brewery campaign going where each pint of beer donates $1 to their efforts to raise money for brain cancer research. If you would like to raise a pint, six Wisconsin breweries are participating in the #BrewStacheStrong campaign.