Every 2 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer.
When I imagine what I would do if a friend's child got cancer, the immediate answer is "anything". Anything to ease their burden, to take their pain away, to reduce their financial stress. Although today is not my day to face cancer, I am reminded over and over that it is thousands of other parents' day. It was their day yesterday, it is their day today and - until we find a cure - it will be their day again tomorrow. Enter St. Baldrick's Foundation. Their mission is to fund pediatric cancer research and fill the financial gap to rid the world of this terrible disease so we aren't still having this conversation when our grandkids are around...and so we are around to see them. I have struggled with whether my ego could handle being bald by choice. I have several reasons that I lay out in the video below, but the overarching one is this:
TODAY, in this moment, I AM SO DAMN LUCKY TO HAVE THIS CHOICE.
I watched my mom care for women with breast cancer for twenty years at her business (now my sister's business), Dianne's Selections. In that space, she served women as they faced the scariest time of their lives. They would walk in with no hair, no breast, and no dignity. My mom greeted them like they were Miss America, gushed at how beautiful their scars were, and ushered them in to find the perfect wig, breast prosthesis or bra. While your parents may have had the morning routine of catching the headlines in the daily newspaper, my mom's morning routine was to first search the obituaries to see if she lost any of "her ladies". Too many times, I would see her get really quiet and then retreat to her room to mourn in private. Each time she read a name, I know a bit of her soul left with them, but she would gather herself up and get ready for another day to serve more ladies.
Now that I am an adult, a wife and a mother, I realize the foundational gift my mom gave me of appreciating every damn day I am given on this Earth. She witnessed over and over that waking up is not a guarantee, it is a privilege. And here I am - waking up to see another day.
So what does this have to do with me shaving my head? I am doing it because today, I am cancer-free. I am doing it because at this moment, I am here to see another day. I am doing it because this external body is a mere vessel of the soul inside of me. I am doing it because I can.
This is where you come in. You don't have to shave your head - but I am asking for you to click the donate button and GIVE.
Why This Matters TO YOU:
- 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer.
- Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children.
- 43 children per day or 15,780 children per year are expected to be diagnosed with cancer.
- More than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a significant health related issue by the time they are 45 years of age. These health related issues are side-effects of either the cancer or more commonly, the result of its treatment.
- Since 1980, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer. Only three drugs (teniposide and clofarabine, and Unituxin for use in high risk neuroblastoma) have been approved for use in children. Only four additional new drugs have been approved for use by both adults and children.
- The average cost of a stay in a hospital for a child with cancer is $40,000.
- Only 4% of federal government cancer research funding goes to study pediatric cancer.