Sunday, March 17, 2013

St.Baldrick's - Round Two

Four years ago my friend Lisa and I went to a local bar to cheer on one of our co-workers.  He was shaving his head for St.Baldricks.  St.Baldricks raised money specifically for pediatric cancer research.  We had a few drinks that night, were completely caught up in the energy and excitement of the night, and I went home proclaiming that I would be shaving my head for St.Baldricks the following year.  That night I dreamt of my bald head.  I was less enthused by the morning!  Regardless, when fundraising time rolled around we had formed a group of enthusiastic nurses and respiratory therapists that committed to shave.  By March of 2010 our team had raised over $11,000 for St.Baldricks and we excitedly and very willingly shaved our heads on stage as our family and friends cheered us on. 

The first week was a little challenging.  I would startle as I caught a glimpse of myself in the car window when I closed the door.  I was self-conscious that people would misinterpret that I was sick rather than having shaved my hair of my own accord.  Very quickly, though, I enjoyed the benefits of having no hair.  First and foremost, time saved in the morning!  Thirty seconds was all that it took to "style" my hair.  And the shower... it feels like a massage on a bald head!  My kids loved rubbing my fuzzy hair.  Despite being concerned that they might be embarrassed by my new look, I felt their pride for me and what I had done.  They begged me to come to school to show their friends!  Coming together with my friends and coworkers to raise so much money for a great cause, being supported by family and my community, and being free of a source of vanity for a short time... It was truly one of the best experiences of my life.

The following two years Sierra wanted to shave her head for St.Baldricks.  While I loved her enthusiasm for doing something uncoventional for a good cause, I worried about her.  As a female, it can be shocking to sport a shaved head.  As a 10 year old girl, even more so.  Not only is it an adjustment when you look in the mirror, but seeing the look on others' faces when they see you for the first time.  I worried how she would handle that.  We discussed all of the issues and each year we've talked her into waiting a little longer.  This year, however, there was no deterring her.  She wants to do something for Alyssa. She misses Alyssa and this a little something that Sierra can do to connect with her.  So far Sierra has raised over $2500 to go towards pediatric cancer research.  She will be shaving her head on Thursday.  I am still worrying a bit.  How she will react to her shaved head, how kids will react to her, how she will react to the kids reacting to her.  But I also know from experience how great this can be.  I know that she will be able to build on the confidence that one gains from stepping out of their comfort zone.  She will always be able to look back and know that not only did she help raise money for a great cause, but she also showed the world that bald is beautiful! 

If you'd like to support Sierra and help her reach her goal please donate on her St.Baldricks page here.  Thank you!

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