So when you’re fifteen, you make all kinds of silly promises with your best friends, right? You promise to not tell each other’s secrets, you promise to be BFFs forever, and you promise not to watch One Tree Hill (or your TV drama of choice) until you can watch it together. My best friend and I also made another promise to one another: we promised that if one of us ever had cancer (God forbid) and lost all her hair, well, the other will just shave her head in support.
Last year, after the death of her father, this best friend, the amazing Alana announced that she would be undertaking the Leukaemia Foundation‘s World’s Greatest Shave to raise funds in his memory. I figured this was pretty much the same thing as we’d promised in high school, so quickly announced I, too, would be shaving my head and raising dollar-dollars.
We soon grew into a team of six, the Geoff Kidman Team. Troy, Justin, Rhi and San, Alana and I began our fundraising, thinking we’d maybe get a thousand dollars raised.
I dyed my hair blue beforehand, because 1) I’m an Arts student and that’s what Arts students do, and 2) what did I have to lose?. It also made sure I wouldn’t be chickening out!
Over the course of the day, our team grew even bigger and we cut our hair progressively shorter; into bobs, asymmetric cuts and finally mohawks, before we took the clippers to the remaining locks.
Now, somehow, all of that was three whole months (and one day) ago! Shortly after shaving, we had raised seven thousand dollars ($7,000!!!) for the Leukaemia Foundation – seven times what we thought we’d be lucky to raise.
And do you want to know the even better news? You can still donate to our team! Which is convenient if you’re looking for a last minute donation to make before you do your taxes – donations close at the end of this month! (Although, you can, of course, donate to the Leukaemia Foundation more generally at any time of the year.)
It has been amazing watching my hair grow back over the past three months (check out my Instagram for a chronology, if you haven’t already), seeing how my hair grows, what my natural colour is, and how much it grows within a week! I even had to get it trimmed again for the first time today!
I’ve also learnt a lot about how I think of my self-image, how great hats are, but mostly, how great my friends – those who shaved and those who supported us – are.