A close shave …

4 06 2010

A sudden sharp click followed immediately by an ominous buzzzzzz

A cool hand presses down on my head like an NBA centre holding a basketball. A familiar tickle starts at the back of my neck and traces its way up and over to my forehead. A huge clump of long gray hair falls past my eyes and into my lap. It has begun.

How did I get here?

An hour earlier, I had been paraded down main street along with others of my kind. We where surrounded by police, no doubt to deter us from making a break for freedom. A pipe and drum band announced our passing to citizens on the sidewalks, they stopped what they were doing and applauded our capture. The more ghoulish ones took pictures of us passing by. We, of course, looked straight ahead, unwilling to give them the satisfaction of seeing us show emotion.

Taking names and kicking …

Our names were taken down on a great list. An order was assigned. We were taken up onto the steps in front of the town hall in groups of six. We were sat down and the spectacle began. Each of us in turn was shaved down to the scalp and turned lose.

And all for what?

We wear our baldness like a brand that marks us for the kind of people we are. We are the ones who challenge the insidious disease, cancer. We collect together every year near the beginning of June. We bring money we have begged from people in support of our cause. Then, for whatever personal reasons we have, we mount the steps of city hall, sit down and have our heads shaved. We do this in solidarity with those who will lose their hair to radiation and chemotherapy. We do it for our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, children, nieces and nephews and for our friends. We do this because we cannot not do this. We cannot sit by idly while cancer takes from its victims that which it has no right to take. Cancers victims are all of us. No one goes untouched. If you have not had cancer or lost time to this disease than you know someone who has.

Keep on climbing …

On the scale of heroism I place myself on the bottom rung. Those who support me financial in this yearly crusade are my heroes and occupy the rungs above me. Those who fight this disease on a personal level when it hits their friends and families and themselves I place on the top rung. If we can keep fighting and keep raising money for research and assistance then maybe, someday, we can make this ladder of heroes reach to a cure.

It’s you, not me …

@#%$&, there's a hair in my coffee!

My Mug Shot! Thanks Maryann and The Ginger Press for the mug and coffee.photo by Hannah-Jo

I want to thank all of you who helped me this year. I show no emotion when I’m walking down main street because I know I would break down if I allowed anything to slip out, not out of fear of what’s coming but out of pride in the bravery of my friends and family who have been called to fight this thing first hand. The amount of bravery required to have my head shaved is negligible in comparison to theirs.

Thanks to all who helped today and leading up to today. Thanks to Maryann at The Ginger Press for the coffee that kept me going and the great mug. Thanks for the donations, big and small, every one helps. Thanks to my friends who support me in this endeavour and put up with my long shaggy hair and my subsequent baldness. And thanks to my wife, and my family who accompany me every year to this fund-raiser. I couldn’t do it with out you.





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