All day I have been teasing friends on Facebook that I will be announcing a big secret tonight. I had to quickly add that “No J and I are not pregnant”. Once we got that out of the way the guesses were pretty realistic to those that know us:
House (Nope! But definitely high on the list of priorities in the near future)
Another dog (I wish! I think if I tried cramming one more item into our apartment, let alone another pet, my newly married status would become recently divorced status-hense the high priority for #1).
So far no one has guessed my secret. It has remained a secret up until now because I have really been struggling with the decision. It was such a secret that no one even knew there WAS a secret until earlier today. A fabulous quote from Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry
Sometimes you know you’ve made the right decision, simply because of how hard it is .
Of course this is a book my mom has been hounding me to read. I have been putting it off for just that reason. Usually when it’s one she is pushing means I am going to get sucked in to an immediately emotionally intense story that wont let go until I have finished reading every single word. Case in point I read this one last night cover to cover in under four hours. How I woke up this morning for work is beyond me. Reading that book was probably the final straw helping me decide and maybe a motivating conversation with said mother and super supportive boss.
So What Is the Secret?
I’m shaving my head
Yes, you heard it correctly.
I’m shaving my head AND there is a good reason for it other than just a whim. I have been known to chop off all of my hair just because I felt like it, but I have never ever taken the step of shaving it off. This also isnt me reverting to my crazy unshaven legs feminist hippie high school days. The feminist is still here. I promise! That’s just not why I am doing it.
I am joining my cousins to show solidarity for children fighting cancer. So that children can see that it is ok for people to not have hair. People that you wouldnt expect to have a bald head. There is enough energy spent fighting the disease itself that last thing a young child should be worried about is how they look to others.
According to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation:
Each year, 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide. Cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the U.S. and Canada. Research saves lives.
So that’s why up until the actual save date myself and my teammates from Team Go Big, Go Bald will be fundraising for the event. So far we have pledged to raise over $4,000
Where Does the Money Go?
The money raised through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation goes towards research on childhood cancer
In 2011, St. Baldrick’s donors and volunteers made possible more than $21 million in funding for childhood cancer research grants, pushing total research funding to an all time high.
Since 2005 over $78,000,000 in grants have been funded because of local shaving events like the one I will be doing in March.
It Gets Personal
Some people still may not understand why I am doing this. Or some of you reading may not see why its such a big deal for someone like me to do it. I guess all I can say is that it is. I first started thinking about this a few years back when my cousin’s husband did it after he went through chemo. The seed was planted.
Cancer continued to work its way closer and closer into my life. You never think something that terrible will happen to you or anyone you know, but it kept popping up. Last year a community near where I used to work staged an entire flash mob to support a young mother that was being treated with chemo and struggling with losing her hair and what that meant for her. I watch virtually as men, women, and children came together and learned choreography, developed a strategy, and finally surprised her in the center of town. I saw how powerful community can be in supporting someone struggling with cancer.
More recently, my family lost someone to his fight with cancer. I watched as my dad and his siblings coped with the loss of their cousin. Someone they had grown up with. I watched as each one struggled with their own mortality and maybe for the first time I began to struggle with my own. It’s so hard to hear people say everything happens for a reason. It feels cliche and it never brings back someone you have lost. But I will say that with the loss of my dad’s cousin I have gained more family than I ever knew I had. I have met and gotten closer to his pretty incredible children and their families. I am honored to be a part of their team this year.
What To Expect From the Blog
My hope is to use this page to:
talk about my experience leading up the actual shave.
show before and after pictures.
talk more about what has personally compelled me to do this (at times you may hear more about what I think than you ever wanted to know)
raise awareness, even in just my small little social circle, about cancer- specifically childhood cancer.
and who knows maybe after March I will feel compelled to continue to write about other interests
On a side note: I will do my very very best to make sense and be grammatically correct but I will not promise it to be perfect. Struggling for perfection has been too long a part of my life and I won’t do that here.
It’s All In the Details
March 10th, 2012
138 Connetquot Avenue
East Islip, NY 11730