For many years, I have talked about shaving my head to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation during the World’s Greatest Shave. I figured that it’s only hair and it will grow back…but actually biting the bullet and doing it? Well, that was my sticking point. As much as I have always wished to have thick, curly, BIG hair…and my own hair drives me insane, somehow shaving off my hair was almost like walking through the main street of Penrith naked and that’s not an idea I relish!
My Dad was diagnosed with cancer in September 2011 and was told he had a year at the most. Dad was always the type to dig in if someone told him what he could and could not do and he fought long and hard to prove his point – he had longer than a year! And he did, we had 2 more wonderful Christmases and 2 more birthdays with him, for which I am forever grateful, sadly he left us on 25th January 2013.
|My Dad and I – October 2012.|
This year when I saw the World’s Greatest Shave advertised, I felt compelled to take part. I still ummed and aahed about it, I had my doubts and it took me forever to go to the Leukaemia Foundations page to register. But having been through my Dad’s struggle over the previous 18 months, I knew that I wanted to do SOMETHING to help others that are battling cancer. Leukaemia, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer…doesn’t matter what type of cancer, I feel it is important to raise awareness of the disease and to raise funds in the fight against ALL cancers.
I was late getting off the mark, I registered on Sunday 3rd March and set my shave date for Thursday 14th March – I didn’t have long to raise some funds. So I set a goal of $1000, I figured that we had a good chance of making that (if you know me at all, you will know that once I set out to achieve something, I will not stop until it is done) and maybe we could get just a little bit beyond that target. Over the course of the next week, I was moved to tears so many times. Everybody got behind me and supported my shave. Clients, friends, old workmates, business associates, family…people I hadn’t seen for years….people I didn’t know! Whether it was $20 or $200, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the wonderful people I have around me.
On the morning of my shave, we had raised $1881 and just before the clippers attacked my head, Rebekah and Lawrence from Origin Fitness kicked in a whopping $170 to get us to DOUBLE the original target – over $2000.
So it was now or never. I set up my webcam and the clippers, made myself a cup of tea….and sat there looking at the clippers for what felt like an eternity. I finally said to myself – JUST DO IT!!! And picked up the clippers and mowed a strip straight up the middle of my head from back to front – I like to call that the Reverse Mohawk 🙂 The best part about it was, it left me with zero options…finishing it off was going to be easy!
I cried when I was finished shaving my head….not because of the hair…there’s more about that at this link…
What did I learn from this experience? I learned that the people I know (and even some that I don’t know!!) are incredibly generous and completely amazing. I learned that many, many people have been touched in some way by cancer – people shared their stories with me…and we shed tears for our lost loved ones together. I learned that my hair (or lack of it) does not define me. I learned that stepping outside my comfort zone for a good cause was actually very easy to do and unbelievably rewarding.
I shaved my head for all the people that do not have a choice as to whether they have hair or not – their chemo takes that choice away from them. I shaved my head to raise funds for research into this horrid disease so that hopefully one day, cancer can be cured. I shaved my head to support families that are going through this….And I shaved my head for my dear, sweet, determined Dad.
By the end of our fundraising efforts we have raised $2687 and I am so very proud and completely humbled by your support. Thank you to everyone that donated to my shave and am so grateful to you all, you helped me achieve something that I will cherish forever.
|My new hair! 7 Weeks and 2 Days.|
Thank you all again, words can barely express how much I appreciate your generous sponsorship and words of support and encouragement….thank you all, I am forever grateful.
For my Dad. Allan Birch.
Alicia (aka Floss)