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Student loses book, shaves head -- fundraiser for DL counselor with cancer

Students at Detroit Lakes High School have gone out of their way to show their support to a teacher who has cancer.

On Thursday morning, about 400 students paid $1 or more apiece to watch the famously long-haired ninth-grader Andy Schupp get his head shaved.

The money will go to benefit Janell Girodat, a counselor at the high school who is battling cancer. She was diagnosed seven years ago and has struggled through many years, and a wide variety of cancer treatments. This year Girodat's chemotherapy treatments have been very rigorous. Through it all, she has continued to be strong, positive, and work diligently at her job, according to her co-workers in the counseling center -- Doreen Richter, Sara Pender and Rhonda Wood.

"She always finds ways to educate the students about her disease, while making them feel comfortable with her -- with or without hair," they said in a news release.

Through the years, the students have shown their support for Girodat in many ways.

Last week, the entire staff was planning to wear pink to show support during her next round of aggressive chemo.

When the students caught wind of this plan, the cell phone texting lines were buzzing, as word spread that students, too, would wear pink.

"The next day, our school was filled like a pool of pink. It was a very emotional sight."

Schupp's sacrifice of his hair on Thursday came about through an arrangement over a lost text book. To settle the debt, he agreed to have social studies teacher Terry Eiter shave his head.

They decided to open the event up to students, charging $1 admission. The money raised would then be donated to Girodat to buy a wig for her 40th birthday present.

School staff donated a large amount of cash, but most impressive was how much the students raised -- over $700.

"We at Detroit Lakes High School just wanted to express our gratitude to our students and their parents, and also remind the community of how extremely lucky we are to have students like ours," the counselors said. "In one final note, Janell began her most aggressive round of chemotherapy on Friday, April 18 -- her 40th birthday."