‘She has the biggest heart’: Young woman with special needs raises money for childhood cancer

Connecticut Families

TRUMBULL, Conn. (WTNH) — A student in the Elite Transition Program at Trumbull High School plans to cut her long hair to raise funds for childhood cancer.

“I feel excited and very happy,” Jessie Marchetti, 19, said. “I’m going to raise a lot of money.”

“She has the biggest heart, she wants to help,” her mom Sheila said.

This all started in 2017 when Marchetti’s cross country coach, Jim McCaffrey, lost his 6-year-old daughter, Mia, to soft tissue cancer.

The team rallied around his family by organizing hair cutting events for a non-profit called Infinite Love, finding purpose in tragedy.

“Always trying to grow from that and recognizing that you have to learn to live all over again when you lose someone or something so significant,” McCaffrey said.

The team also designed an incredible bench near the sports fields.

“The idea of the bench is that it encircles the tree, like a big hug,” McCaffrey said. “This is where we meet for cross country practice every day. It’s called the ‘Make It Amazing’ bench. My daughter’s name was Mia — MIA — make it amazing.”

When those young women graduated, Marchetti picked up the ball and ran with it, cutting her hair, raising $15,000 in 2019.

“I love that Jess is reaching out to us and wanting to do it again this year,” McCaffrey said. “COVID has made fundraising really challenging for local non-profits.”

“The hair gets donated to children with hair loss,” Sheila said.

Due to the challenges of the pandemic, Marchetti reduced this year’s goal to $5,000 but she knows every bit matters to help children like Mia.

“I don’t want people to be sick with cancer,” she said.

Marchetti hopes to cut her hair in the next few weeks.

Click here to learn more about her mission.

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