One thing you should know about my friend Shawne: She’s so bubbly, she could be bottled and sold as champagne. She’s also fiercely strong, both mentally and physically (you don’t want to get in the way of her tiny-but-tough, size-three feet when they’re kickboxing in your direction). And she’s a little off the beaten track, in the best possible way. Few women would willingly go for a buzz cut, and then gush about it… but that’s Shawne. On Friday, in Alberta where she lives, she donated over 12 inches of her brown curls to be made into a wig for someone with cancer. And Shawne loves her new ’do – scroll down for before and after pics.
It was all part of my friend’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. When she found out her niece was planning to participate in a fundraising event at school (little Ellen first dyed her hair pink and then got shaved almost bald, because she rocks), Shawne decided to join in. She discovered her hair was long enough to donate – barely. “It would not leave much left,” she says, “but as I had just lost a family friend and another friend was battling cancer, I was not too worried.” And quintessential Shawne looked on the bright side: “As one friend put it… it will make me a more aerodynamic/faster runner. Whoohoo!!!!” Whoohoo indeed.
Then came the abrupt loss of Roxanne, Shawne’s friend with cancer. The last time the ladies shared a coffee, Shawne had told Roxanne of her plans to lose her hair. “She looked at me, shook her head and said you’re nuts, but I love you, Shawne… I will remember those words.”
This week, cancer charities in Alberta will be receiving $1650 in support that Shawne managed to raise. (Niece Ellen raised another $450!) Not only that, but some Canadian with cancer will have a beautiful new head of hair, thanks in part to my sweet pal.
“I don’t want to lose any more friends, so giving up my hair is easy in comparison,” Shawne told me. “This started out as a way to support my niece, and became much more personal.”