Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kid's Cancer Buzz-Off

It all started a few months ago when my friend, Greg, sent me a fundraising email asking me to pledge for him to shave his head for Kid's Cancer.  He was doing it for his niece, Quinn, who was diagnosed at age 3weeks with leukemia and has lived her whole life in Children's Hospital since.  She's a fighter and currently in Memphis for t-cell treatment (I think that's the right term.)

Greg and Bethany have been good friends of ours for the last 7 years and their family has always been very kind to the DurtyFeets.  I was about to donate some money when I thought "I can help here too."  After confirming that it was open to all, I signed up.

I was a member of Team "Buzzing for Quinn" in the Kid's Cancer Buzz-Off organized by One Mission.

from the One Mission Website:

One Mission is a childhood cancer foundation dedicated to enhancing the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families. They are a registered 501 (c) (3) foundation that provides help, hope, care, and support to children and their families touched by pediatric cancer. One Mission funds patient and family support services, cutting-edge cancer research, and programs and services that help children and their families cope with the many physical, emotional and financial challenges associated with this disease.  All of the programs they fund directly benefit children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer, the families who support them, and the medical community who compassionately cares for them.

I have wonderful family, friends, and colleagues who were willing to give to the cause and ask their friends to contribute.  In the end, my donors contributed about $1,200 and our team raised something like $22,000.  I'll update this post with a link to the wrap-up page by One Mission when it is released so check back if you are interested in the final tallies.

This past Sunday, June 5th, was Shave Day!  I was a little nervous on the way there.  I've had really short hair before but I've never been skin on top.  And I was planning to shave bald later that afternoon.

We're on the Jumbotron
The official figures are not out yet but approximately 110 buzzees and their guests descended on Gillette Stadium for the Shave-Off.  They served a nice breakfast for us while we waited for the opening ceremonies.  Not one person there looked like they had any doubts about shaving their heads.  It was a very positive and powerful experience.  Everyone had huge smiles on their faces.

The main organizer, Ashley Haseotes, whose son is a childhood cancer survivor, told a very moving story about the day they had to shave her son's head because the chemo was taking effect.  They asked Kevin and Quinn to come up and talk about her journey too.
Kevin and Quinn telling her story
Once the opening ceremonies were done, our shave groups were called and we each sat at one of 20 chairs where a stylist was ready with the clippers.

Here we go!
 It was pretty quick for me since I didn't have enough hair to donate to Locks for Love.
At least my kids are not terrified of the melon

Sarah, Kevin, Bethany, and Greg.
Not too much of a stretch for guys to do this
but I have to give all the girls huge credit.
You all look beautiful!

Quinn was a trooper all morning

Quinn, Kevin, and Gran
"Thanks, Dad!  You rock!"

Chicks really dig the bald head or maybe I just have adorable kids.
Nah.  It's gotta be the head.
Once everyone was shaved, we took a group photo of 110 bald heads and made our way back out the to world with our new hairdos.  It was definitely weird.

I got home and grabbed a razor and shaved down to skin just to see what it was like.  Sunday afternoon also happened to be my 40th birthday party so I got to do the big reveal to my Mom and Dad.

I think I look pretty good.
Of course, the dome needs a little sun.

As a bonus, the kids and I also got on local TV which is apparently nothing new for them after the Cox Rhode Races but I was thrilled.  WPRI-12 TV Coverage

I want to thank all of the wonderful people who sponsored me for this great cause.  I had a terrific time and we all did a wonderful thing for the kids.  I will definitely do this again next year and I think Matthew might join me.  I especially want to thank Quinn and say a prayer for her speedy and complete recovery.  God Bless and Godspeed, Little one.


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