Being a professional athlete is not just about playing the game you love at the highest level, it is also about being a positive role model out in the community. Whether it be feeding the needy, bringing attention to their favorite cause or promoting the sport to underserved communities, MLL athletes to do their part.
Just like Nick Colleluori did when he founded the HEADstrong Foundation to draw awareness to blood cancers, several MLL athletes devote their free time raising awareness to causes near and dear to them. Each month we will profile an MLL athlete that encompasses the same selfless core values Nick had and name them the HEADstrong Humanitarian of the Month.
This month, just in time for Burn Cancer Week, MLL recognizes Charlotte Hounds midfielder and faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler for his outstanding contribution to the Locks of Love organization.
“This is really an honor,” Fowler said. “I think it’s an important part of what we do as athletes.”
Two weeks ago when the Charlotte Hounds took on the Ohio Machine at Selby Stadium fans found themselves having to do a double take at the X due to the new look of the Charlotte Hounds faceoff specialist.
Fowler has cut his flow and donated 10 inches of his hair to the Locks of Love organization, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under 21 years of age who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
“I was making the decision to cut my hair the summer after my junior year,” he continued. “My hair was pretty long at that point, and I knew that I could donate it so I figured I’d already grown it that long I might as well. And then I looked into how much longer I’d have to go and realized, wow, I still have a while to go, but figured, alright, if I grow it out until the end of my senior year I should be able to cut it right at the end. Even making that decision at the end of junior year I figured it would be the last time I’d ever be able to have long hair, so I might as well just run with it and give it a shot.”
The Locks of Love organization provides prostheses to help children restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.
“Most of the children I have spent time with who have cancer are family friends and some kids back on Long Island,” Fowler said. “But just being around them, I realized that if someone ever wanted to cover up their hair that it’d be cool to give it to them.”
Fowler always tried to get involved in the community anyway that he could, something that, as a professional athlete, he thinks is extremely important.
“One of the coolest parts about being successful in a sport is the fact that you can influence and help people out,” he said. “We used to get involved in the Duke Children’s Hospital radio-thon, and I did some stuff with Ronald McDonald House with football and lacrosse over my time here. At home I don’t work with any specific charities but if I hear about sick kids who are lacrosse fans I try to spend some time with them.”