Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why Bald?

If you haven't heard yet, children's cancer research is super underfunded. It has a lot of separate considerations from adult cancer research, and as such, it is funded separately. Adult cancer research has awesome campaigns and is getting more attention these days, which is a great thing, but kids' cancer research isn't as well-funded.

So, if you haven't heard this one yet either, I'm shaving my head in 8 days to raise money for and awareness about this fact.

If you want to watch it happen, show up in Upper Gage/Phifer Commons (at Coe) between 6-9 pm. I don't have an exact time for my specific scalp, but you can contact me closer to the day of the event, and I'll let you know.

If you want to donate, click this cool link. I also can take cash and checks! All of the money raised goes to St. Baldrick's, which distributes the money to responsible research organizations.

Go wander through and read the stories of kids on St. Baldrick's page. I'm honoring a few of them specifically with my donations, but there are countless stories that'll break your heart and wreck you a little bit emotionally. Do it for them.

When I was in middle school, my family knew a family who knew a family from Mexico, and that family had a daughter who was basically my age. They came to my hometown because the hospitals in Mexico said, "give up." The hospitals here said, "we'll give it a shot."

One afternoon, I remember my family sitting the two of us down, hoping that we would keep each other company. I wasn't sure what to say. We didn't have much in the way of common language grounds, and we were both incredibly shy to start with. We looked at each other for a while, smiled timidly. I think we tried to talk a little but didn't get far.

I wish I could tell some heart-wrenching story about us becoming good friends. Instead I can tell you that I got scared because I didn't know what to say, and to this day all I can think about is how incredibly lonely it must have been to live in her body for those last few years of her life. She died when I was still in middle school. I'm shaving my head in memory of Andrea.

If I'm honest with you, it's a little bit scary. I don't know what it'll be like. But I cannot imagine how scary it would be to be told as a kid that I had cancer, and I can imagine that it would be many times scarier than this. So I'm shaving my head for every kid who is braver than me and to raise funds so that there will hopefully come a day in the foreseeable future when we can tell a kid that what she has is curable or a day when we don't have to tell anyone that they have cancer.

Support these kids by donating, by getting educated about cancer, by reaching out to kids, by shaving your head. If you're interested in shaving your head with me, get in contact with me.

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