Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mosaic Monday ~ 3-14-11

Saint Baldrick’s Festival in Richmond, VA 
Shaving Our Heads to Raise Money for Childhood Cancer Research 
(Click on the mosaic to enlarge, and click again to make it still larger.)

On March 21, 2004, my husband, Buddy, my son, Gene, and I all participated in the Saint Baldrick’s Richmond, VA, Church Hill annual Saint Patrick’s Day event. Saint Baldrick’s is an organization founded to help find a cure for childhood cancers, and one of the ways they raise money is to have people get sponsors for having their heads shaved. I knew nothing of the organization until Gene called me one night and asked if Buddy and I would like to join him in this endeavor. We didn’t have to even think about it and immediately said we would. Years before I had taught a child who lived right down the road from us and had brain cancer. Being with her at school and being a friend of the family, I learned first hand what it is to have and love a child with this tragic disease. All I can say is it was an amazing,  eye-opening experience. Not only did I have my head shaved, I also had them take off my eyebrows because when people go through chemotherapy, they lose their eyebrows as well as their hair.  

Only when I was outside did I wear anything on my head. It was so cold I had to put on a skull cap or a baseball cap to survive. My niece gave me her chemo cap which had served her well through two horrible bouts with breast cancer, and I learned quickly why my bald headed father always wore at a cut off, knotted woman’s stocking on his head when he went to bed at night. I always thought this was an awfully odd habit, but I soon understood exactly why he did it. A bald head can get mighty cold at night.

I did not warn the students I was going to do this so Monday morning the kids got quite a shock. I thought they would either come up and ask me what had happened or at least politely say nothing. Instead, I got a rude awakening when I walked into the lunchroom. They laughed at me...and I crumbled and broke out into tears. I was horrified at their lack of feeling and concern. I realized, when I got over the immediate horror, they were probably so shocked to see me without any hair they just burst into laughter. At the time that never crossed my mind. I was just like any child who is faced with children laughing at him or her...devastated. That night when I had more time to think about the incident, I had a light bulb moment. What I had experienced was what so many children have to face on a daily basis when they do not have that “normal” look. I suddenly knew what bullying and mean children do to others because I had felt it myself. 

This story does end happily. The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders all brought in money for me to give to Saint Baldrick’s. Some of them even brought large checks from their parents for the fund raiser.  By the time I had to turn in my money, I’d collected over $1600.00 from the students at my middle school  and had, at the same time, made them all more knowledgeable about childhood cancers and how to be kind and helpful to their fellow classmates who are ill or “different.”

Please be kind to one another and follow the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

“What we remember from our childhood we remember forever ~ permanent ghosts,  stamped, inked, imprinted, and eternally seen.”
Cynthia Ozeck

This post is linked to “Little Red House” sponsored by Mary Carroll. Stop by her site to see more Monday mosaics.


  1. Oh Genie. This is such a powerful and beautiful post. You truly touched me.


  2. What a sweet post and I'm so glad for the lessons you helped the students learn. You are beautiful inside and out.

  3. Genie, what a wonderful post. random acts of kindness go so very far.....

  4. You are an amazing person! We can all learn a lot from you about caring! Great mosaic! ♥ KUDOS to you! ♥

  5. Thank you for sharing such a moving post. You did a wonderful thing shaving your hair,

  6. What a fantastic post! Very touching. You are terrific!

  7. You are a hero! Thanks for sharing that with us!

  8. A truly touching post! My congratulations to you and your family.

  9. What a great post! You are so brave and selfless!

    m ^..^

  10. You were brave for a good cause. It won't be long before you have a new do for the top of your head. V

  11. Hi there this is my first time joining in with Monday Mosaic and I am now hopping around from Italy viewing all the wonderful blogs that join in. A lovely St Patrick's Day post.

  12. Genie, this is a powerful story. Your personal courage was a lesson in lovingkindness these children will never forget...perhaps it will give them courage in their lives when they must face difficult circumstances. I bow to you with deep humility.
    gentle steps

  13. How caring and compassionate you and your family are and what a great illustration to your students. I was so happy to hear about the happy ending too :)

    So nice stopping by to visit with you and read this wonderful story.

    Kindly, Lorraine

  14. Wow ~ what a touching story and brave woman you are. I can't even imagine being without my hair. You are so courageous. God bless you for your gift and the hearts you have touched.

  15. Genie this was such a wonderful thing to do! Many members of my family participate in, and donate to, St. Baldrick's but never any of the women brave enough to shave our heads!.

    I hope one day there will be an end to all cancers, but especially pediatric cancer!

  16. You have done an honorable thing. Your kids and parents are generous to raise so much fun.

    Do you have a nice eggs shape head?

    I was toying with the idea when I see the campaign on TV, but I don't think I will raise much. Now everyone is raising money for Christchurch.

  17. That was a wonderful thing to do - to raise the money and to raise awareness.

  18. What wonderful things you did, and a gorgeous mosaic! Happy St. Patrick's Day!