I’ve been trying pretty desperately to blog about this past weekend….but I have consistently found myself quietly overcome with emotion and I realize I’m still processing and just couldn’t find the right words to describe it all.  THIS is the blog I HAVE to do right!  THIS is the blog that I just can’t fuck up!

So…..as many of you know, on Saturday, I was scheduled to shave my head……for Donna.  I read Donna’s Cancer Story two years ago and the story, beautifully poignant and explicitly heartbreaking, was about a mom….a family…..who’d lost this beautiful little girl when she was only four years old.  They took that life-altering moment and transformed it into something amazing to honor their daughter……..Donna’s Good Things.  Donna’s mom works tirelessly to raise awareness for the woeful lack of funding that Pediatric Cancer receives.  There are tiny, young lives being lost and battles being fought to save these children and it’s almost as if much of the world views this with a very detached sense of sadness.  BEFORE I read Donna’s story, I was one of those folks.  My penis people kept me busy in a million different ways and, while I had brief moments of “Oh my God, that’s so sad”….. I would then find some mundane task to occupy my days……and ((BLINK)) the moment would pass.  Until Sheila and Donna and the rest of Mary Tyler Family came into my life.  From the very moment I read Donna’s story, that incredible child with eyes that will pierce you to your soul, I was abruptly and eternally changed.  No longer did I feel detached….I was PISSED OFF!  Cancer, in and of itself, is a fucking BEAST.  But PEDIATRIC CANCER is reprehensible.  You have toddler…babies….children….teenagers……who haven’t a clue what the hell is even happening to them or why.  And Pediatric Cancer swoops in and steals what brief childhood they might even hope to have.  And I’m pissed.  I’m pissed off that Pediatric Cancer receives the most minimal of support when the dollars are doled out.  Approximately FOUR PERCENT of money raised by the American Cancer Society is funneled over to save children.

And so, when Sheila posted that St. Balddricks , privately, is the leading fundraiser of money for research and support for Pediatric Cancer, I was intrigued.  I JUST KNEW that I had to do something……..  Donate???  Hmmm….easy enough.  But I’m more the “go big or go home” kinda person.  And so, in one crazy moment, I signed up to start a Team…….I would be the captain…..and I WOULD SHAVE MY HEAD to RAISE more money than I could ever hope to donate.  Within MOMENTS, I was joined by a 14 yr old girl named Rylee.  I’m friends with Rylee’s mom Dawn and, I must tell you, this woman has raised a KICK ASS child.  She and Rylee had read Donna’s story together and Rylee was SO touched by emotion, SHE wanted to shave HER HEAD TOO!!!  Woot-Woot!  In less than an hour, I was contacted by Sabrina.  Sabrina is the cousin of a close friend.  She and I have met several times at my girlfriends home.  She had ALSO read Donna’s story (because we, who have come to love Donna, have shared the SHIT outta this story) and she wanted to join too.  HELL YEAH!!!   In less than one hour, Team Michigan Donna’s Good Things was formed and fully functioning!  And it was like it grew a personality all its own!  Through our YEAR LONG fundraising, MORE people came to know about Donna and her family.  Donna was like this tiny little whisper in their ear….”Give what you can…..these kids need it”.  I refused to just let her slip quietly from anyone’s mind……I reminded people WHO our head shaving was for every chance that I could.

And so, when Saturday approached, I woke up STOKED!!!  I’d gone out the night before to celebrate this huge thing with copious amounts of liquid happiness…..and remember being briefly concerned that I may have over done it and would awake feeling “not so wonderful”….  But I woke up happy and giddy with emotion.  NOTHING would ruin this day for me.

At the St. Baldrick’s event, there was a nervous energy that just permeated the entire place.  There were, easily, several thousand people there, ready to cheer on their own particular loved one.  There were 520 people who shaved their heads that particular cold and snowy Saturday.  And while Team Michigan Donna’s Good Things collectively raised nearly $4000 (Thank you from the bottom of my heart to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who donated), the event itself raised nearly a QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS in ONE SINGLE DAY!  Can you just believe that shit????  And I was a part of that!!!! 

Upon the completion of my transformation from hair to hairless (mostly hairless, there’s still a bit of peach fuzz though), I looked out over the crowd of people standing before me…..friends who came out to show their support……my penis people flanked by the Dick….Rylee and Sabrina’s family…….AND Sheila and Donna’s little brother.  Sheila and her own young penis person had made the treck all the way from Chicago to be there…..to personally say Thank You to us three girls for doing something so bold……to bask in the overwhelming and amazing love that Donna created amongst this crazy little group of people.  There were enough tears to go around for EVERYONE!  And I am still humbled that Sheila and her lil penis person were standing there in the audience, smiling and waving and cheering us on.

I’ve learned several things upon volunteering to shave my head…and the subsequent shaving of my hair.  I’ve learned that I have an amazing support system of friends and family who donated hard-earned dollars to this cause……I’ve learned that generally, people are LOOKING for a way to help but most just don’t know how….I learned that the man in the photo above hugging Sheila lost his 7 yr old daughter to Cancer in September and he and Sheila shared a hug that only parents who’ve lost a child to cancer can share….I’ve learned that there is no greater kind of grief in this world than saying goodbye to your child…I’ve learned that I’m extremely lucky to have healthy irritating little penis people and that so many parents would give ANYTHING for the same….I’ve learned that the Dick thinks I’m rocking this look and thinks its kinda HAWT…I’ve learned that Nicklas is pretty damn proud of me and thinks I’m fucking cool…….I’ve learned that the wee penis person thinks its AWESOME and keeps telling me “Good job Mom”…..I’ve learned that heat REALLY DOES leave your body via your head (sorry, Mom was RIGHT)……..I’ve learned that kick ass hats are pretty damn important right now to keep my cold lil bare noggin from freezing….I’ve learned that my normally cold, evil heart is pretty warm right now with love…..and……I’ve learned that hair isn’t nearly as important as you might think it is…..

And so……I’ve been wearing that damn button….”Ask Me Why I’m Bald”……almost non-stop since it was given to me on Saturday.  If I didn’t think I would impale myself in my sleep, I’d probably wear it then too.  I WANT people to ask me why I’m bald.  I see their quizzical glances and double takes and I WANT them to know that I’m not some warrior survivor of Cancer myself.  I WANT them to know that I’m just a regular mom of two young penis people who was so moved beyond words by a beautiful little girl who haunts me in a good way.   I am often consumed with the NEED to tell them Donna’s story, about her brief but amazing life, and how she’s changing the world, and helping other children like her, one person at a time.

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