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Long once again removes hair to honor sister battling another round of cancer
For years local high school student councils have helped raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund, a charitable organization based out of PennStateMiltonS.HersheyMedicalCenter, whose ultimate objective is to conquer childhood cancer and help families dealing with the disease never see a bill
But this year, that battle is even more personal for two of the former Martin sisters, both of whom are EHS alumni.
Four years ago, Sharyn (Martin) Rissler learned the devastating news that she was battling stage four cancer. Soon thereafter, her sister, Deana (Martin) Long decided to have her head shaved right along with Sharyn in a show of solidarity.
This Friday night at the Ephrata Middle School’s miniTHON, she did it again.
Deana, a familiar face at the Ephrata Middle School where she is both a classroom aid and the eighth grade girls basketball coach, decided to get in on the act when a number of middle school students decided to shave their heads at the event. In all, almost 30 girls and boys got their hair cut or shaved in support of individuals with cancer at the middle school.
Sharyn was able to be on hand to get the ball rolling, clipping the first few strands of hair before turning the clippers over to Stacie High from the YouPhoria Salon in Denver.
“I told Sharyn when she was first diagnosed that no matter how long it takes, no matter how many times I need to do it, the only thing I can do to feel like I’m walking in your shoes is shave my head with you,” said Deana.
Deana said she had absolutely no second thoughts in the two weeks since she came up with the idea to do this.
“She didn’t have to do this,” said Sharyn. “I cried.”
The girls mother Mary Martin was among several family members on hand to witness the mounds of hair drop to the floor while over 100 of her students and basketball team cheered and chanted Deana’s nickname, “DJ.”