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Man shaves beard for first time in decades to support young girl battling rare cancer

<i>WBZ</i><br/>The finished product after Ryan Lagace shaved his beard for the first time in decades.
The finished product after Ryan Lagace shaved his beard for the first time in decades.

By Staff

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    CRANSTON, Rhode Island (WBZ) — A Rhode Island man made a drastic transformation to help honor a young girl who is battling a rare cancer.

Ryan Lagace has been growing out his beard for so long, his own wife and children had never seen him without it.

But this week, he shaved off 20 years worth of hair for a cause close to his heart. The drastic change was in honor of high school friend Troy Peck’s daughter Aspen, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia last year.

Doctors said Aspen only had a 20% chance of survival, and a high rate of relapse.

So in July, Lagace began a campaign and committed to shaving his beard if Aspen’s GoFundMe page reached $100,000.

After undergoing a bone marrow transplant and several rounds of chemotherapy, Aspen is currently cancer free, and her parents are eternally grateful for Lagace’s support.

“He says it’s just hair it will grow back, but its more than just that,” Peck said.

The Peck family is working with a doctor in Seattle who is researching a cure for Aspen’s specific cancer mutation, and that’s thanks to Lagace’s willingness to shave.

Thanks to the fundraiser, the Peck family has money to pack up and move across the country should they need to.

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