Eleven-year-old Austin Russell went Bald for Bucks on March 10 at Lake Shore Central School’s event. Austin chose to go Bald to show his support of his Grandfather, Steven Rukavina, whom he calls Papa.

Austin & his Papa

Steven was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January of 2008 and had a bone marrow transplant on October 10 the same year. Austin’s Papa is currently in remission, with the help of a clinical trial being conducted at Roswell Park. “Roswell Park saved my Papa’s life, and I wanted people to donate to help save other people’s lives,” Austin said. His biggest tip to those thinking about Goin’ Bald is not to be afraid. “It’s actually a lot of fun, and it’s for a good cause.” He also said he likes being bald because he doesn’t have to use that much shampoo anymore!

Austin raised a total of $1,205, beating his goal by more than $200. We asked Austin to share a few of his fundraising tips and thoughts:

You raised over $1,000! How did you reach that outstanding total?

I reached my goal by asking my family and their friends to donate. Some doctors who know my Papa even donated.

Do you use social media? Did that help your fundraising totals?

My parents and family used Facebook and Instagram to help me reach my goal.

Why should other kids your age support Goin’ Bald for Bucks?

I think other kids should shave their heads or donate hair because it helps raise money for Roswell Park and we need to find a cure for cancer.