A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Shave my Head’

Why I Shave… Max is Forever Seven

Grace

Is it possible for someone you have never met to influence your life in deep, profound way? I am not speaking of a famous writer, thinker, actor, athlete, or speaker. The person who has had one of the deepest influences on my life is a seven year-old boy… a seven year-old boy who will remain seven forever.  

Maxwell Kincaid Nunn was born on February 6, 2003. Max passed on Thanksgiving Day 2010. 

From Max’s obituary:

“Max was diagnosed with a Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET) of the Central Nervous System (CNS). 

Max enjoyed was hunting & spending time with his dad. He liked riding his quad. Time spent hanging out with his friends, sitting by bonfires, collecting gadgets opening the mail & riding in his dad’s truck were some of the things that made Max happy. He also liked to go fishing, playing sports, and listening to music.

Max was an awesome individual with a heart melting smile that touched the lives of countless people across the world.”

Max Nunn

What I want people to know about Max is not written in his obituary. While Max was valiantly battling brain cancer– and at seven years old– he began raising money for pediatric cancer research. Yes, adults, please listen up. At seven years old, while existing in a body riddled with cancer, Max Nunn fully grasped the concept that we need to raise money for research in order to stop the beast called childhood cancer. I loved reading the posts each day where Max would open a pile of mail– envelopes with dollar bills in them that Max would send to St. Baldrick’s Foundation. His family shared his battle with photos, videos, and words of truth.  Max’s smile could melt the polar ice caps. Max’s personality could light up the world in the middle of a full-blown power failure. Max’s heart to help children fighting cancer lit a fire in me. I can never think of Max without hearing him say, “Two bucks, I mean it!” Max was serious about raising money for pediatric cancer research; he had no hesitation in asking people to give. It wasn’t for him… it was for the kids.

The Nunn family

There is no such thing as giving too little, only a matter of giving or not giving. Every “Two Bucks” matters. 

It’s no surprise that Max’s mom and sister have both shaved their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Max’s dad also works passionately for the cause of raising money for pediatric cancer research. I have tremendous respect for the Nunn family’s decision to share Max’s story with us.   Because they chose to share, I have been able to learn what we need to do to, what I need to do. If I can raise money for research by shaving my head, and honor courageous children by doing it, then bring on the razor. Over the next month, as shave day approaches, I will be sharing stories of childhood cancer warriors. I want to remember, and I want everyone else to know, I am shaving to honor them. I am shaving because I love them. 

 Max Nunn

I have been given the gift of loving this boy named Max… who will forever be seven.  Although Max will forever remain seven, the seeds he planted in me will grow like Sequoia Trees. 

My love for Maxwell Kinkaid Nunn the Great is one HUGE reason I will become bald again. I can hear Max saying it now, “Two bucks, I mean it!” 

Please consider a Two Buck donation in honor and in memory of Max.

http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/579474

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Going Bald Again…This Time for The Kids

GraceBrushing my teeth in a reflective daze, I stare at my shampoo bottle…I won’t miss it.  Nor will I miss my brush… bobby pins- none of them.  I imagine what it must be like to feel the tickle of the breeze on nothing but delicate fuzz.  Towel in hand, I think about how many strokes it would take to dry my head.  Staring into the mirror, I try to envision others’ questioning glances.  Oh that’s right- I knew… I know.  Yet recollection is a mysterious thing.   While I can vividly recall my chemo-ridden body reaching for the razor five years ago, the chaotic emotions of the time have instead been replaced with gratitude, excitement- hope.

            Who am I to have a choice?  They don’t.  I didn’t… once upon a time.  My own trials through cancer have been glossed over with the faces of kids around the country- of those whose stories I heard while sitting intently at their bedside.  Amazement continues to knock on my soul. 

There is no choice but to fight-  no choice but to bitterly resist the chemo bag hanging beside you, yet surrender to it…  place your absolute trust and hope in it.  What if… what if you had so much certainty in that little, seemingly harmless, bag that you could let go… trust… know.  That you could give in and not face fear of slipping… slipping…. leaving. 

This is my desire, and one that the St. Baldrick’s Foundation works towards daily.  The number once private funder of childhood cancer research, they hold events worldwide each year.  St. Baldrick’s raised $33 million last year; this money provides grants for researchers who are working tirelessly to find less toxic treatments and cures for those children who face, and will face the same beast I did.  As my heart overflows with appreciation for my own life, yet sadness that others still fight the battle I know all too well, I find that hope is the path that must be taken. 

I have decided to join in St. Baldrick’s mission and participate in an event that is taking place on March 30th, 2013 at Oakland Children’s Hospital.  The deal?  No more shampoo… no more bobby pins, brushes… or anything of that sort.  In an effort to be in solidarity with cancer kids everywhere, to raise awareness, and to raise money to fund research grants, I will be shaving my head…. again.

If I refuse…I lose.  It is as simple as that.  What is hair, anyway?  Something that keeps your head warm- something that gets tied back or covered up on bad days.  It can be straightened, gelled, curled, and colored.  However, many people don’t realize what else it can do- create awareness, provide greater funds for research, better treatments, and hope for each and every child fighting. 

I am just one person, but if everyone allowed that thought to build a wall in front of them, no change would ever happen… no amazing things would take place.  And so I choose to do what I can…give what I can in this life that can, at times, tell you to give up- to not give because “it is not enough.” I encourage you to do the same.  We never lose by giving… only by passing an opportunity to give our own unique contribution.

For information about St. Baldrick’s and their mission, please visit: http://www.stbaldricks.org

To support my individual participation, my team, and children with cancer everywhere, please visit:

http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/melinda

John and Vicki kiss my dome during treatment at Cottage Hospital in March 2008.

John and Vicki kiss my dome during treatment at Cottage Hospital in March 2008.

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