So, my 7 year-old asked me what could be considered an odd question the other day.
"Mom, can I shave my head?"
While to some, this might be out in left field, it made perfect sense to me, as his school (Forts Ferry) is hosting a St. Baldrick's fundraiser on 10/21/11.
Jake's school is big on teaching kindness and compassion. They participate in Rachel's Challenge, which promotes kindness and compassion. Rachel's Challenge was formed in memory of one of the Columbine victims. Forts Ferry is continuing on with that message by hosting a fundraiser to benefit kids with cancer.
I'm not sure he really understands what this is all about. So, we talked about it. Part of Jake's Aspergers is that he has trouble with empathy. It is hard for him to picture what it must be like to have cancer. He didn't understand what having a shaved head had to do with cancer. But he also has sensitivities to somethings that would not bother most kids. Like hair clippers. Getting his hair cut is really difficult for him. He does an excellent job, and tries his hardest to sit up and sit still. But you can tell it is hard for him. When I told him that he would get the clippers on his whole head, he told me he changed his mind. Then I explained to him what cancer treatment is like. With lots of needles and ports and surgeries. How chemotherapy makes you sick and it makes your hair fall out. How radiation can sometimes burn. And that he would have to sit still for about 10 minutes, while a child with cancer, best case, has to under go all this for at least a year.
He thought for a minute and said, "Ok, I'll get my head shaved."
So, we are letting our 7 year-old get his head shaved (yes, school pictures were already done).
As everyone knows, money is tight and fund raising is everywhere these days. We don't often ask our extended family to participate. For instance, we are currently selling popcorn for boy scouts as well as wrapping paper/frozen foods for school. We are asking you, this time, if at all possible, to help out. The link for Jake's page is below. As of this writing, this blog has had 280 hits. I realize that there are some repeat visitors, but if everyone who reads this gave $10, we'd be on our way.
Now, I'm probably gonna cry when they shave Jake's head. His hair is pretty short as it is, so it won't be a huge change, but nonetheless, he's gonna be bald. But he's alive. And healthy.