Trumbull teen takes up fight against pediatric cancer

Last year when dozens of students cut their hair and raised money as part of the Infinite Love Mane Event, Jessie Marchetti wanted to participate. She set a goal of growing her hair long enough to cut and donate eight inches of hair to the organization Children With Hair Loss, in addition to raising money for Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer.

“My mom [and I] saw my friends cut their hair and raise money for Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer,” Jessie said. “We talked about why they were doing it and it was then and there that I said, ‘I am growing and cutting my hair next year!’ I haven't looked back since that moment.”

Jessie, a 17-year-old senior at Trumbull High School with Down Syndrome, is also a member of the school’s track and field team. She set an ambitious goal of raising $10,000. So far this month, she has raised just under $3,300 from 73 donors. Infinite Love is a local 501(c)(3) that helps fund cancer research and also provides financial support for families battling pediatric cancer. Trumbull High English teacher and track coach Jim McCaffrey, whose daughter Mia died from pediatric cancer in 2017, is the organization’s executive director.

“We are so proud to have Jessie doing this for us and we have already learned some amazing things from her,” McCafrey wrote on Jessie’s fundraising page. “She and her family made us aware that children with Down Syndrome are at a higher risk for Leukemia. Jessie even had a scare in sixth grade where she had symptoms of this form of cancer. Through test and a great deal of anxiety, they found out she was cancer free.”

Jessie will be cutting her hair at Moda Capelli Salon in Fairfield in October. She wants to use this month to raise funds. Her goal is $10,000 and we think that is incredible. Donations can be made on her Flipcause page and through the salon.

Jessie, who plans to stream the hair cutting live on Facebook, said she was dedicating her efforts to McCaffrey and all children battling cancer.

“It is just a good thing to do” she said. “I'm doing this for my coach and his family, especially to honor Mia, but I am also doing it for all kids.”