Stars of Stanford Medicine

Nick Bondy


Pediatric/Child Health Research Program

Nick's hair before.

Nick's hair after.

Nick Bondy, a clinical research coordinator, donated his hair to cancer patients to honor an uncle who died of a rare sarcoma.

Uncle Zeke Bondy-Villa played an important role in Nick Bondy’s early life. He taught him to swim and play golf. He hosted sleepover pool parties that brought together all his cousins to swim, sing Elton John songs, and bake pizzas in a wood-fire oven that Zeke hand-built and named “Giuseppe.”

Then at age 53, Zeke announced that he had a rare soft-tissue cancer, sarcoma of the kidney, and nine months later he was gone.

Nick, now 23 years old, realizes that the most important thing Zeke taught him was how to enjoy life and live in the moment..

After Nick Bondy's beloved uncle Zeke died of cancer, Nick (on top) donated his hair to a charity that makes wigs for patients who lose their hair during chemotherapy.

After Nick returned home from Cal Poly State University, he wanted to do something personal to pay tribute to Zeke’s life, so he grew his hair long and donated it to a charity that makes wigs for patients who lose their hair during chemotherapy.

It took Nick two years to grow his hair to the 10-inch length required to make a wig. Along the way, he received lots of moral support from his coworkers at Stanford Medicine, many of whom manage cancer clinical trials. These coordinators and Nick see firsthand the psychological toll that losing hair has on patients. (Nick currently manages three clinical studies at Stanford: one on the genes that contribute to malarial resistance, one that seeks to reduce excessive sweating, and another that’s looking at ways to prevent abnormal sugar levels in the blood of newborns.)

When asked about the pros and cons of this hair-raising effort, Nick said, “I saved the hundreds of dollars that I would’ve spent on haircuts, but I didn’t like how long it took to dry.”

Nick scheduled the big cut on the three-year anniversary of Zeke’s death. His girlfriend and parents came to the salon to celebrate. In the coming week, the family will attend the ZBV Memorial Golf Tournament, where all proceeds will be split between the American Cancer Society and the Modesto Rotary Club. Nick will proudly attend the tournament as a bald person, and in Zeke’s honor, he’ll enjoy every minute of it.

For more info on cancer patient hair donations, visit this site.