Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Daughter is Shaving Her Head - Year IV

Four years ago I had a big decision to make.  My daughter, then a fourth grader wanted to participate in the local St. Baldrick's Day fundraiser.  Participants in this amazing event collect donations and then shave their heads raising money for pediatric cancer research.  Her heart was in the right place, to help others, but I wasn't sure I wanted her head to follow, she would be bald - a bald girl.   After delibrating and debating, her dad and I said yes.  I was questioned by other parents who had great concern, many who had turned down their own daughter's request to join in the fun.  

But for me the decision came down to a simple idea:  her head, her hair, her decision. And she was all in.  So through a coordinated effort of email and social media, we got the word out, raised some cash, and suddenly I found myself, on a Saturday afternoon, surrounded by my close friends, watching my daughter go bald...out of choice.  

That first time she participated as a shavee she sat in that chair like a champ next to her dad and her Kindergarten teacher.  I watched from the sidelines with tears in my eyes.  

It was her strength, her courage, her commitment.  I was in awe.  

I was proud beyond words that my daughter, a child I had raised, could have this unimaginable strength I had never really witnessed before in another person.  Sure, you could argue "what's the big deal, it is just hair." But for a little girl to shave her beautiful blond hair, to help others, was and remains absolutely amazing.  

As time has marched on St. Baldrick's Day has become a holiday for our family.  Three years Vicki has sat next to her father as they participated together, and once our youngest daughter joined the fun as well.   I am always the event treasurer.  We spend all day at the event catching up with friends and celebrating the organizers, Drs Mike and Melissa McCue.   Last year we honored a local teen who himself had just survived cancer.   This event has become a cornerstone of the Lawreceville social seaon (didn't know we have a social season here in L'Ville, well we do).  A get-to-gether at the end of the winter.  And the entire town emerges for the fun.  Ok, so not the entire town, but certainly anybody who is anybody.    

Vicki has been honored for this effort in our local paper and by Rutgers University as a Knight in Shining Honor.  But there have been times when her quest to do good has been met with bullying as cruel children have cruelly told her she looks like a boy.  And to her tween emotional state those comments have stung and caused a little damage. Vicki has always flown her freak flag high and as her mother it has been a struggle as the flag sometimes reaches right up to where the atmosphere is thin.  But we move on allowing her to be her own fabulous self, supporting her at every twist and turn.  

Anywho, we are in the throes of St. Baldrick's Day Season and I find myself so proud and supporting her selfless act with everything I got.  And now the plug:  if you are able to financially support Vicki's effort you can hop on over to her fundraising page and give at a level comfortable to you.  Thanks for considering. 

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