It is 2014 when I meet a young cancer survivor who is nervously about to cut 8″ of her long, brown hair. Her mom trembles as she videotapes her daughter as this was her first haircut since chemo.
What made this occasion so powerful and inspiring, a glimmer of goodness and positivity in the world of cancer? I was attending my first St. Baldricks Foundation head-shaving event that is dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research with a friend who’s not only a pediatric oncology PA but a repeat participant in the annual event.
Over the years I have channeled my passion for athletics to raise money and awareness for various cancers. Cycling, running…things I enjoy that come easily to me. Then I met St. Baldrick’s. What else could I do but vow to shave my head in 2015? These children fighting cancer and their families needed me.
I’ve had a full career as a PA, working with Pacific Islanders and immigrant garment workers in Micronesia. I’ve traveled to Russia, Turkmenistan, Finland, Belarus, Tajikistan, and Sierra Leone, served my government as a U.S. diplomat and cared for impoverished patients. But, I want to do more.
I don’t work in pediatrics. I’m not a mother. I’m just a PA who wants to make a difference.
Call to Action: On March 14 I will go bald in the fight against cancer. Help support me with your donations and sharing.