This past Saturday I hosted my second Shave For The Brave for my children’s hockey association, but it is the third year in a row for my children and nephew participating. It has become a tradition for my children and nephew and a tradition that we look forward to and throughly enjoy each year and hope to carry on for many years. We celebrate the shaving of their hair and the fact that it will bring joy and comfort to someone in need.
In case you are not aware of what Shave For The Brave is, it’s a series of Shave events held every year. It can be a very emotional time for me and many other young adults that deal with losing their hair as a part of their chemo treatment. Thanks to so many young children and adults that take their time to sacrifice their hair to help make a young cancer patients day, by donating their hair to make wigs and in turn it helps a cancer patient feel better about themselves and gives them confidence while going through what might possibly be the worst time in their life. Donating your hair for wigs or shaving your head bald is a big sacrifice, but if you are like my kids and nephew, it’s a pleasure and as soon as one event is over they always say “I can’t wait for next year”.
Some do it to support a loved one dealing with cancer or have dealt with cancer, some do it to remember someone they lost to cancer, or some do it to help support the cause. Whatever the reason, it’s a good one and what’s any better than a selfless act, a selfless act of kindness and compassion for those who need a little love and embracement.
Personally, I feel a deep connection with my boys when they shave. They have a little glimps of what I somewhat experienced when I lost my hair. They love to wear the bright yellow toque as if it is a trophy to represent their bravery and understanding of what I, and many others, once experienced.
When I was faced with losing my hair to chemo, I chose to be in control, I wasn’t in control of having cancer, but this was one part of cancer I could control. I gathered the kids in the bathroom for “our shaving party” and they each helped shave my long hair the night before my first chemo. It was a really fun experience and we had a good laugh at the expense of me looking like my brother Ryan, we probably could have passed for twins. My brother was balding, so he had slightly less hair than me still. Losing my hair was the one thing I had control over, we took it, not cancer!
My goal is to reach my five year anniversary of being cancer free, that’s just two years from now, and I plan to sit with my boys and nephew to Shave for the Brave!