Sunday, March 29, 2015

Saint Baldrick's and CWHL

Last night, I did something I have been wanting to get involved with for a few years now.

Several years ago, one of my friends from High School got involved with an organization called Saint Baldrick's where the guys would raise money for children's cancer and have their hair shaved off.  I thought that was pretty awesome.  I had seen a few pictures of women doing it but it wasn’t until 2010 that I met a woman who actually did it.  I was on a “Ski Trip” (it was really more like a weekend frat party in ski country).  She was a friend of a friend, we had had a few drinks, and for the life of me I can not remember her name.  Regardless, I was inspired by her.

I had intended on participating in Saint Baldrick's last year but as life would have it I got caught up with my world and didn’t think to sign up until it was close to the actual event.  I was also still apprehensive.  However, last year I started telling people about it and some people were excited and others thought I was crazy.  I don’t blame them.  I thought I might be a little crazy also.  I have a second thought to this though. I am also curious with the lack of hair will my headaches decrease and if they do not then I know the issue is not the weight/pulling of my hair.  So far today I feel great!

Before
Anyway,  I signed up at the end of January and started slowly campaigning to raise money for St Baldrick's.  I had created an event on Facebook for donations.  I also had a small bucket at work.  The donation end was tough for me.  I really do not like asking for money at all.  So posting the fundraiser somewhat regularly bugged me but I did it!  Watching the donation bar grow was actually really exciting!  It would grow slowly and in sudden spurts.  Up to the day of the event I would up the top fundraiser for the event surpassing my goal of $1000.  I was really touched by all the friends and family that donated, the people that shared the fundraiser, sent me messages, and people at work that kept hugging me.  It’s been a very touching experience.

Because I have such long hair I am able to donate my hair as well.  St Baldricks has a list of donation companies with a description of what each company takes (length, gray, processed, etc).  I picked Children with Hair Loss (CWHL) because they take processed hair while I haven’t overly chemically treated my hair I have had henna dye in it and the last thing I want is for my hair to not be used.


In picking the St Baldrick's event I originally had an earlier event but the date had been changed to one I could not make so I changed events to one at Port Jefferson’s Schafers.  While I was apprehensive about the new venue, it was a great change because my friend who had originally introduced me to St Baldrick's was also participating in this event.  I like when things come full circle like this.

I have some wild anxiety.  I already knew getting to the event I wanted to have a nice drink before socializing much and that's pretty much what I did.  Trust me this is important.  The conundrum was I have given up soda so what to drink?  Most of the things I usually order have ginger ale or cola.  The bartender made this awesome orange margarita with Fireball in it.  It was delicious.  Afterwards I was ready to go on stage.  I have terrible stage fright.

Mary buzzing my hair off.
Turns out the woman doing the majority of the hair buzzing was my previous hair dresser Mary!  I was ecstatic!  She did the shave last year.  So I get on stage and I tell her I am donating my hair.  I was prepared.  I had hair ties, zip lock bags, and a my brush.  She introduced me to her family because her kids who I used to hear about were all there and her grandson.  So in the midst of her putting my hair up they ask us to wait.  Oh and I found out that she only had a 0 so ha no number 2 for me.  Oh well.  Oh boy.  Here we go.  Thank you Fireball Margarita!

One of the volunteers gets on stage and announces that I am about to get my head shaved.  Not many woman do it and I was the only woman at that event.  Everyone was watching.  There was a crowd.  There were kids there.  This was in a bar but it is a family event.  The kids were watching up front with their jaws wide open.

Being a female who has never had really short hair, I have never had a buzzer on my head before.  It felt like a head massage.  I was actually really nice.  Up until where most of the hair was off but a little of the braid was still on because it was pulling at that spot and it hurt. You can see in the photos I started making wincing faces.  Once it was off, Mary asked me if I was going to cry, but nope.  I am completely okay with this.

It's off!

She is still buzzing my hair and people are asking to take pictures with me holding the braid up.  After she was done people were high fiving me and congratulating me.  They made another announcement and I was able to announce where I was donating my hair.  One of the women at the event asked where I heard about CWHL and I told her through the St Baldrick's website.

After
In the end, I am thrilled I did this.  I raised money for a great charity (St Baldrick’s) and I get to help another charity (CWHL).  It has been a great experience.  I hope to return next year as a volunteer, but we all know that depends on the date and my costuming schedule.

Of course last night I took some stats on my hair.  The length is 26” and the weight is 7.5 ounces.  Last time I donated my hair I didn’t weigh it.  I was curious because it could be the weight aiding my headaches.  Time will tell, but half a pound is fairly significant!

If you want to donate you still can and I would love it.
https://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/749287/2015
 
You can learn more about Saint Baldrick's at their website: StBaldricks.org
Please visit Children with Hairloss to learn more about them at their website: ChildrenWithHairLoss.us

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