What a prof will 'do for charity

By FHS Advancement, November 28, 2007

    Nursing professor John Vickers and first-year nursing student Miranda Strucke. Photo by Susan Bubak.
McMaster University nursing professor John Vickers agreed to dye his hair a multitude of colours -- pink, green and blue -- as part of a fundraising effort that collected $785 on behalf of the Spread the Net campaign which sends sleeping nets to Africa to prevent malaria in children.

Vickers unveiled his new hairdo to an anatomy and physiology class yesterday to a round of cheers and applause from the students. The multi-coloured 'do helped him get across the message about the different parts of the brain.

The hair change was a challenge taken on by Vickers, a McMaster professor for 25 years, as an incentive for the students to meet their goal of raising $500 for the campaign.

Vickers's personal donation to the project is in memory of Krista Cantwell, one of his nursing students who died as a result of a tragic car accident just over two years ago. While a nursing student, Cantwell had raised money for medical supplies and drugs for a medical clinic for the poor in Kenya, where she had volunteered.

Spread the Net is a partnership with UNICEF Canada to raise funds in hopes of buying 500,000 anti-malarial mosquito bed nets for children in Liberia and Rwanda. A single net, at the cost of $10, can protect up to five children for five years.

"This amazing contribution to Spread the Net would make Krista proud," said Miranda Strucke, a Level 1 nursing student and a driving force behind the effort to raise funds. "Krista was a BScN student who had a passion and love for helping the people of Africa.

"Without the support of Dr. Vickers, the McMaster Undergraduate Nursing Students Society, and the faculty, staff and students who supported this wonderful cause, we wouldn't have reached our goal."

Donations are still being accepted at the School of Nursing in HSC, Room 2J36.