(Edit: November 9th, 2012 - I notice my pictures are not working. I will fix this when I get home from Thailand in May 2013. Sorry for the inconvenience, but the back up copies of the photos are on my external harddrive in Canada!)
Okay, due to my nocturnal schedule at the moment I am in dire need of a nap but I needed to share this first! As you well know I decided to shave my head and donate my hair to the Canadian Cancer Society so it could be made into a wig for a cancer patient going through chemo therapy.
What you may not be aware of is that this journey started 3 years ago. Back then my hair was pretty short. I'm talking about to me ears. I had it cut short like this shortly after my graduation and continued to keep it this way through first and second year college.
But that didn't satisfy me. What I really wanted as a 19-year old was to shock my mother by shaving my head bald. However, I wasn't going to do it without a bit of hype. At the time my best friend and I were talking about a road trip across Canada and I decided I was going to shave my head when we reached Nova Scotia.
As many plans do, our road trip hasn't happened yet. (Hopefully it will one summer in the future.) I was still bound and determined to shave my head though! As it turned out my mother is much too supportive and was not at all shocked to discover my plans. The shock value gone, I decided if I was going to do this I'd do it right. So two years ago I decided I would grow out my hair and then donate it to the Canadian Cancer Society.
There are many reasons why I shaved my head. Some of you might be troubled to learn my initial reason was as selfish as a teenage whim to get a reaction out of my mother. That of course wasn't the only reason or I wouldn't be where I am today! Another reason I shaved my head was to do with the movie V for Vendetta. For those of you who have seen the movie you will know that V shaves Evey Hammond's head as part of his process to give her no fear.
As a young woman this idea was very striking to me. Perhaps it was not possible to be without fear, but certainly the shaving of ones head could easily be used as a symbol for courage. At this point in my life I was going through some very trying personal issues. The idea of the personal meaning that shaving my head would have for me was something that helped me grow out my hair over the last two years. There was something powerful about growing out all that hair just to have it gone in less than an hour.
And of course I was inspired by G.I. Jane as well...
I mean what girl wouldn't be?
People have been asking me was I inspired to shave my hair for Cancer Research by a special person in my life? A close family member or friend? There is no simple answer to that. My grandfather died of cancer when my mother was 15. I never met him, but I know my mother loved him very much and his death shaped her choices over the next few years of her life. In some strange way this headshave is still about mom, because even if I am a troublemaker at times I really do love her.
But I can't say this is just about my grandfather, or even just about the many other friends or relatives in my life who have had benign cancer that they were able to remove. Maybe it is about my old manager at the Tim Horton's I worked at in BC who recently passed away when her cancer came back. Maybe it is about my mom's boss when I was a kid who also passed away, I remember being touched by what a beautiful person she was right up until the end. Maybe this is about all the people who aren't remembered when they suffer through the horrors of cancer.
I think that this is about the statistics. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, "an estimated 1 out of every 4 Canadians are expected to die from cancer." Their website also says, "Based on 2009 incidence rates, 40% of Canadian women and 45% of men will develop cancer during their lifetimes." I want to raise awareness and encourage donations because I want to see the Canadian Cancer Society find a cure. And think you all do too. Because if a quarter of the people you know are expected to die from cancer, that is definitely worth fighting for!
This morning I had about a 12 inches of beautiful brown hair on my head.
Now I have a brush cut!
I want to thank the wonderful women at Euphoria hair salon in Brandon, Mb for not only doing such a wonderful job of shaving my head so that the Canadian Cancer Society could get the longest amount of hair possible but also for providing their professional expertise free of charge today!
Their donation was truly touching, as were the donations I have received on my profile page for the Canadian Cancer Society. http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/mcorbett And all the support I have had from friends and family, including my aunt who agreed to come with me today and take all these wonderful photos!
I still plan to shave myself fully bald today. Partially out of curiosity and partially because I want so much to raise awareness for this cause and of course my friends are all imploring for this course of action! I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone! I plan to shave my head fully after my nap. Hopefully by then someone will be around to be my eyes when I am trying to shave the back! I will post more photos then.
Just one more thing I want to say before I sleep. I have had so many people today tell me how beautiful I am. Thank you. And don't forget that each one of you is beautiful too. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you have done. We are all beautiful. Sometimes we don't feel like it when we look in the mirror, but each one of us has a beautiful soul. It can be said our actions define us. You may not feel beautiful today but if you let your love shine through, if you do something beautiful today, then you will remember how beautiful you really are. Let your love shine! :-)