Breast Cancer Fundraiser & Locks of Love

by Wendy Sheppard, MSW
(Ambler, PA)

That's me with my bald head

That’s me with my bald head

In 2002, my best friend got breast cancer. She had two kids and a husband. Because her husband was working full time, I ended up being her primary caretaker. Her husband went to all the chemo treatments, but I took her to most of her doctor’s appointments.

Early on when she realized she would lose her beautiful long, dark hair to chemo, she asked me if I would shave my head with her. Of course I said yes. I’d do anything if it would help her through breast cancer. She was 36, having a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy and she had two young kids. Shaving my head was the least I could do for her.

So we shaved our heads before she lost her hair to chemo. We had our kids there so they could watch as we shaved our hair off. She was really concerned about her kids having to watch her hair fall out – that’s why we did it ahead of time.

She had really long hair, which she donated to locks of love. Somewhere along the way she decided we needed to have a “Shave Your Head” fundraiser to not only donate hair to locks of love, but also to raisemoney for breast cancer.

So we started planning. We found a location, got someone to donate their time as a DJ, got food donated, got silent auction items for people to bid on and found some hair dressers to donate their time cutting people’s hair.

Now, you might think this was kind of odd. Why would people cut their hair off for someone who has cancer … someone they barely even know, or maybe even don’t know at all? But you would NOT believe how many people sat in those chairs and either shaved their head bald or had a significant amount of hair cut off. One guy came in to the place just because it was his usual evening hangout. He had a goatee that was down below his waste. People started throwing $20s on the floor at his feet, chanting, “Cut it off! Cut it off!” AND HE DID!! This same kind of thing went on for hours. Kids would hesitantly look on, wondering if they should buzz their heads. Someone would see them and start throwingmoney at them. Nearly every single kid in the place got some kind ofhaircut. Some of them shaved their heads completely.

At the end of the night we had made more than $14,000! It was the most amazing thing I’d ever experienced. Locks of Love got tons of hair to use to make wigs. It was amazing, truly, truly amazing.