Twenty days from right now, I will be surrounded by bald children. And I hope that you will be too.

Our St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event for kids and teens (and adults) is fast approaching, now less than three weeks away.  We currently have 31 registered shavees, which isn’t awful but I know there are many many more out there who’ve said they plan to sign up.  Now is the time, people! If you need to be re-inspired, go back and look at these posts from last year’s event: Noble, which talks about the bravery of the Fairfax students: Heroes, short and sweet, but gets me every time (and I wrote the darn post); Thank You filled with pictures from our event; and The Petri Dish, with more pictures and the very important message that every single dollar raised makes a difference to children living with cancer and their families.  I also urge you to spend three minutes and watch this video put together by St Baldrick’s.

And then, right when you’re feeling sufficiently emotional, visit our event site to sign up or donate.  Braedan’s page can be found here, and I must tell you that this boy loves his hair.  He wills it to grow the second he’s done shaving and isn’t satisfied until about six months later, when it starts to skim his eyebrows again. He really loves it long. So much so that I told him he didn’t need to shave this year if he didn’t want to. But oh no, he said then his friends would be less likely to shave and he wants everyone to do it so he will too.  He is now motivated by the prospect of earning his knighthood by the time he’s in 6th grade, as shavees who’ve been involved for seven years are welcomed ceremoniously into the Knights of the Bald Table.

And then there’s Austin, who cares little about how he looks. His message is linked here and copied below because it’s a good one (what a little writer that 6-year old is, huh??):

Numbers, numbers, numbers . . . here are my numbers: I’m 6 years old; I’ve had cancer twice; this is my third year as a St. Baldrick’s shavee; I’ve had six abdominal surgeries, 13 months of chemo and 12 rounds of radiation; I have half of one kidney; I am a two-time cancer survivor and I am two-and-a-half years CANCER-FREE.

More numbers: Last year, I was one of 5 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador Kids and helped the organization raise more than $33 million. I was joined at the Cleveland Heights head-shaving event by 48 other shavees, including 9 kids from my preschool and 11 from what is now my elementary school. Altogether, we raised over $38,000.

This year, I ask you to consider these numbers: 38 children are diagnosed with cancer every day, 46 if you count teens and young adults. One in five of them won’t survive.

So join me. Shave your head, donate your time, contribute some money. Let’s solve this.

As I said in my email appeal for donations, I sometimes feel selfish for asking so often for others to support our causes. But then I remember that this is not about us, this is not about Austin, as he will hopefully never need to benefit from the medical advances that St Baldrick’s funds today. This is about who comes next. This is for the kid who’s diagnosed today and the one who’s diagnosed tomorrow. This is for their siblings. And this is for their parents.

So join us. Shave your head, donate your time, contribute some money. Let’s solve this.

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