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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Preparing for a shaved head, cancer fundraiser

Sacrifice, noun; the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

Since their first shaving event on March 17, 2000, St. Baldricks has expanded to become an official, independent foundation in 2004, raising $30 million in 2012 to meet the $100 million mark in fundraising, and reached 26 countries across the globe. Coincidentally, 2012 was also the first year that the St. Baldricks Foundation came to BGSU.

My first experience with the event happened last year, in 2015. At the time, I was seeing someone new and tagged along to watch him shave his head in solidarity with the three kids who were suffering of childhood cancer. At the event, I noticed one thing: the majority of shavees were men.

The few women I witnessed shaving was almost a spiritual experience. Surrounded by friends, being cheered wildly from the audience, almost every woman cried as her long hair was braided, then cut, and her remaining hair shaved. They radiated beauty afterwards, having given a huge sacrifice with monumental support. I knew immediately that I wanted to participate in the next event.

Even with the recent attraction of short hairstyles, it is almost a demand of societal beauty standards that a woman have long hair. Transitioning from long hair to bald as a woman is certainly shocking, and may even spark more conversations about childhood cancer than a bald man might, as it is common for men to rock the bald look.

Out of over 50,500 participants last year, only about 8,000 were women, spread across 1,300 events. As a woman we are very well placed to support this cause. Shaving your hair takes a lot of bravery, and you will inspire kids with cancer, especially young girls.

I have received many reactions to the announcement that I will be shaving at the event in the Bowen Thompson Student Union on January 31. Many of these reactions were shades of shocked; including shocked and awed, shocked and appalled, and shocked and thrilled. I have, however, received less support from my family than I would have liked to have, but I suppose that’s part of the sacrifice. I intend to donate more than 18 inches to one of the five charities that the St. Baldricks Foundation recommends and have raised about half of my $250 goal so far.

As the number of days between the event and now grows shorter, I’m feeling apprehensive. I am certain I will shave. I am not certain of what will happen afterwards. Often, I find myself wishing that the event would happen during the spring or summer. To prepare for how cold I will be without hair, I’ve been crocheting myself warm hats. I had a small breakdown one night while brushing my hair, but steeled myself with the knowledge that I have hair and kids with cancer often emotionally lose their own. My boyfriend, the guy who had introduced me to the event, has been a wealth of support and I would not be able to summon the bravery to shave without him. It takes a small amount of bravery to shave my hair- it takes so much more bravery, and money, to battle cancer.

Respond to Taylor Lody at

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