they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

he shaved his head because cancer sucks

this is a story of my friend/coworker joel. joel decided to raise money for the hope lodge through the american cancer society's shave to save fundraising bonanza. he spent months selling T-shirts, holding events at work, events off site and panhandling around the office for money, spare change and whatever else he could get.

the big head shaving day was set for may 2. until then, joel grew his hair. and it got longer and longer and one day, it was longer than mine. here is a picture of him hours before meeting gary lezak and getting his head shaved. note the fact that he looks a bit like jim on the office, no? oh, and that shirt he's wearing...pure shave to save genius designed my one mr. andy mcleod. not bad, huh? you, too, could have had one for only $20.

the event, held at the hyatt, was a nice affair. a luncheon, a speaker, gary freaking lezak. and then, there was joel. my friend. who is always the center of attention. because he's funny. just look at this picture that was displayed, projected even, for all to see.

gary lezak is a cancer survivor and, hence, is the master of ceremonies for this event. here he is talking to joel minutes before his hair would be gone. GONE.

this is when he asked joel a question, and joel, being himself, said something sort of funny. that's his mom to his right. she took the first swipe at his hair.

see, there she goes. and gary lezak promptly posed the question of the hour,"how does it feel?" i don't remember what joel said. but everyone else answered "it feels good." save one lady who said it felt tickley and like vibrations she'd never felt before. yeah.

this is the group of people, including joel, and including women, who shaved their heads for cancer. i commend them entirely. and, as a woman, i have so much respect for these women who shaved their heads for this. i complain when i have a bad hair day. these women are courageous.

in the end, joel ended up looking like this. he went home that night and shaved it again with shaving cream. and then, again, in the morning. he says now he'll let it grow back out. joel raised thousands of dollars for the hope lodge. and now, he has a shaved head to show for it. i'm sure when people asks he tells them why he did it. he probably also tells them about how his head gets cold now and he carries a hat around just in case it's unbearable.

i've seen cancer take the lives of people close to me. i've also seen people beat it. billy beat it. at the ate of 29, he had his leg amputated below the knee to beat it. cancer is real and the need to find a cure is real, too. for billy. for my grandma. for my great aunt. for my neighbor who died from lung cancer after never smoking a cigarette in her life. for her family. her kids. her husband who has no idea how to go on living. for them. for us. for hope.


  • At 7:36 AM, Blogger pom. said…

    this hit me where it counts.

  • At 1:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    that is so kewl.

  • At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you're a good writer jessi. i hope i get to see you when i'm home this summer.


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