Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Would you shave your head for a great cause?

My girl!
What would you be willing to do to make money and a statement for a great cause? Would you be willing to shave your head? I know I wouldn't. But my Teenzilla is. My heart is so full and proud- I really can't describe it.

Last year we started reading Donna's Cancer Story.Sheila Quirke, AKA Mary Tyler Mom, wrote a heartbreaking serial blog about her beautiful daughter Donna, and her 31 months of treatment. I have never read anything more gut wrenching than this. I sobbed. I raged. I shared this beautiful girl and her beautiful family with everyone.

Teenzilla read Donna's story too- and like me she cried and said "Fuck Cancer. What bullshit. It's not fair."
Said with all the conviction and vehemence only a teenager can muster.

 Through Mary Tyler Mom, I learned of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. "On March 17, 2000, reinsurance executives John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell turned their industry's St. Patrick's Day party into a head-shaving event to benefit kids with cancer. Their 20 "shavee" recruits planned to raise "$17,000 on the 17th." Instead, they raised over $104,000!  Now this has turned into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research  and today the St. Baldrick's Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government."

I watched as several of my friends made their way to Chicago last year, and prepared to shave their heads. I donated and cheered them on. I followed their blogs and their Facebook pages. And I shared all of this with Teenzilla.  She looked at me after seeing all the pictures of the newly bald, and said, "I want to do that".

I chuckled, and I said, yeah, right. She looked me straight in the eye and said- "I am serious mom. So many kids have to go through chemo and lose their hair and they don't have a choice. I want to do this. It's just hair. It will grow back."

I told her that I would support her 100% if she wanted to do this, but secretly I thought she would never do it. The next event was a year away- that was a lot of time to think about it. And being a fickle teen girl- I expected her to forget about it, and then change her mind.

Then a few days ago, my friend Danielle from Life With Penis People, who had talked about starting a team last year,  asked if Teenzilla was still interested- because she was starting a team here in Michigan. I asked Teenzilla and she said "Oh heck yeah I am interested!"   I asked "Are you sure?" And she said "Absolutely positive mom"

So we are starting the fundraising. The big day is March 16, 2013. Teenzilla's fundraising goal (a'la me) is $1000. She is a little worried about raising that much. I told her- "You are young, beautiful and an amazing kid. People will donate and you will raise $1000 and make a difference. and then you will be bald and I get to rub your head!"

Our captain, Danielle! Thank you for starting our team!
I am beyond proud of her. This is HER idea. I am so amazed by her. She is mature beyond her years and has the all consuming passion that is unique to young people.

And in 5 months she will be shaving her head in honor of all the kids going though the hell of chemo.

 Damn. I am in absolute awe.

Please consider donating to this wonderful cause. St. Baldrick's is  just an amazing organization. Following are links to Teenzilla's fundraising page, and our Team, Donna's Good Things. If you are in Michigan, consider joining us- as a shavee or a volunteer! Look for St. Baldrick's events in your town too!

Teenzilla's fundraising page

Shave your head!

Team Donna's Good Things

Danielle Bare Team Captain

Teenzilla's Mom