With $100K raised for Aspen, Burrillville man shaves off his epic beard

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BURRILLVILLE – A local man who set out to help a friend’s family raise $100,000 for medical bills for a one-year-old child fighting Leukemia met his goal this month – and as promised, shaved off his foot-long beard.

Ryan Lagace of Burrillville shaved off the facial hair he’d been growing for decades after meeting the fundraising goal for Ashley and Troy Peck, parents of a young girl named Aspen who is fighting a rare subtype of Acute Myeloid Leukemia known as RAM.

Troy was raised in Burrillville and graduated from Burrillville High School before eventually moving to Newport, and is a longtime friend of Lagace’s. The family had already raised more than $88,000 to help with medical expenses via a GoFundMe page when Lagace first announced the effort to boost the fund in June.

NRI NOW spoke with Lagace in July.

And on Thursday, Oct. 7 the 37-year-old Mapleville man made good on his promise with a visit to Kimatian’s Barber Shop in Pascoag. Sharum Photography took pictures of the act and WPRI aired a segment.

In a heart-warming video of the event, Lagace screams when he first sees his bare face, but says it was worth it.

Aspen has undergone chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, and is currently cancer free. But chances of relapse from the rare disease are high.

To date, the Peck’s have raised $101,481, money they say will be needed if Aspen requires additional treatment.

April Lagace checks out her husband’s newly shaved face.

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