Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why I'm shaving for a cure

My mum wasn't exactly thrilled when I told her I was shaving my head. It's probably correct to say I had never disappointed her in my life up until that point. The point where she realised she would then have 5 children - 2 boys, 2 girls and 1 androgynous-looking middle child (that would be me, errr.. Hello!). The reactions vary from looks of curiosity to barely disguised worry.

When a friend chopped off all her hair a few years ago she was asked, 'Who broke up with you?' Dramatic hair changes are usually indicative of life-altering experiences, the end of some relationship or the beginning of some new era. I joke about my hair a lot, say that I'm going to get dreadlocks and join the Goa hippy community of India. That's a joke by the way, this though, isn't a punchline. I am shaving my head, not because I want to outdo the half-shaved-head hipsters but for a few, simple reasons.

We only get one body in this life. We can ink it, scar it, abuse it, make it fat, make it skinny, make it have a six pack but we don't get an exchange or refund. We're stuck with it. And we try and keep it healthy as long as possible. But that doesn't always happen. Sometimes, cancer happens. Health is one of those things you don't appreciate until it's taken away from you, or somebody you know. And cancer is one of those things that will affect somebody you know, whoever you are.

Hair, that grows back. People don't always make it back from cancer. Sometimes they do, and they go on to be survivors. Sometimes they don't, and that's that. I don't know where the logic is in a lot of things, don't know where the logic is behind cutting all your hair off and taking a step towards fighting cancer but there's a little string that links the two.

Maybe doing this tiny, little, temporary thing will make some tiny, little, permanent difference. That's all you can hope for really. So that's what I'm doing - shaving for a cure. And I hope if you can sponsor and support me - just click the link here.

And I'm dedicating this 'campaign' to a grandma of mine who I only met last year. As far as grandmas go she's pretty freaking awesome. She has a walking cane that's bedazzled with jewels and tried to teach me salsa in my living room. Shortly after we saw her she was diagnosed with cancer and had to go through treatment. She shaved her hair off because she didn't want it to fall out from the chemo. And in the grand scheme of that, shaving your hair is really not so brave at all. So lola, this ones for you.

'Cause tiny, little things make all the difference.


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