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SWISStrong: Anchor honors brother with 2nd annual haircutting event

Posted: 2:58 PM, Jul 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-26 18:58:48Z

71 people, 638 inches, $1,156 are the numbers brought in from the first #SWISStrong hair cutting event in Lansing to benefit those battling cancer.

This year, you can help increase those numbers by attending the 2nd annual #SWISSTRONG event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on August 13 at Protégé Academy in East Lansing .

What does it mean to be #SWISStrong? It means being fierce, brave and standing up to any challenge life brings you. #SWISStrong was the hashtag for Steve Swistak's journey of battling cancer. Unfortunately, cancer won the battle in May of 2015.

Steve Swistak is the brother of FOX 47 News's evening anchor Sarah Swistak. Steve was an MSU alumnus and colorectal surgeon. Sarah described him as a "major goofball, sports fanatic, movie lover, who could erupt a whole room into laughter at the drop of a hat." He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer at 30 years old.

According to Sarah, one of Steve's challenges was losing his hair.

"He didn’t want anyone to treat him like he was sick, which meant, he didn’t want anyone knowing he was sick, and not having a head of thick, dark, beautiful hair was a sure sign, he wasn’t feeling well," Sarah wrote on the #SWISStrong fundraising page.

Inspiration from her brother drove Sarah to create the community hair cutting event, #SWISStrong.

Last year, the locks of hair were given to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and made into wigs for women battling cancer. This year, the event will include food, music, giveaways, health screenings and volunteer opportunities.

Sarah hopes to increase donations this year and every year. Proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society to fund research.

You can help show that Michigan is #SWISStrong by marking this event on your calendar, or by sending a donation through Crowdrise.  Call 517-324-3388 to make your appointment with a Protégé hair stylist.