Young Woman Goes Bald at St. Baldrick's Event Thursday Night, Raises $5K to Fight Childhood Cancer
The woman plans to go completely bald to raise more than $5,000 for pediatric cancer research as part of St. Baldrick's on Thursday night at Ri Ra Irish Pub.
Katie Lloyd could be in a shampoo commercial. Her hair is long and shiny, and she’s worn it that way for years.
“It’s my number one accessory,” she told Patch. “It’s what defines me.”
Prompted by an overwhelming need to give back after Hurricane Sandy ravaged many towns and cities along the country’s northeastern coast– including Lloyd’s hometown of Atlantic City, NJ– she's decided to shed all that long, flowing hair to go completely bald for a good cause.
After participating in St. Baldrick’s Day for nearly a decade, mostly as a barber, she decided to take her turn in the chair and shave her head to raise money that will go to cancer research. St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding the most promising research to help find cures for kids with cancer.
During the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day, bold individuals sit in barber chairs around the country (and even the world) to participate in St. Baldrick's Day, when they shave all their hair and raise funds that will go to childhood cancer research.
At 27 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He quickly was treated with large amounts of chemotherapy because pediatric-specific treatments have not been as thoroughly researched.
As Lloyd wrestled with the idea to shave her head completely in order to help raise funds for children suffering from cancer, she noticed a trend on Facebook.
Photos of children with terminal illnesses were being shared, encouraging people to “click like” if they hate cancer.
“Clicking like doesn’t do anything. Get off your computer, run a 5K,” Lloyd said, and she knew she could lose her locks then.
“I’m definitely doing this for him,” Lloyd said.
Although Danny and his father, a single dad who's given up his job to be with Danny full-time, will be up in New Jersey while Lloyd chops her locks, she said she will be Skyping them as she sits in the barber chair.
A lot of people have asked Lloyd if she’s scared, and she answers honestly that she isn’t. They then usually tell her that they would be scared to go bald.
“As scared as you’d be if you were diagnosed with cancer?” Lloyd asks them.
Although for Lloyd, her hair has been a large part of her identity, she says that she won’t wear a wig.
She wants to show solidarity with the children who are suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, and she’s well aware that if she is bald and “looks sick” , it could help raise more funds long after Thursday night’s event.
Her biggest challenge has been trying to make people understand why she is going bald.
“They say, ‘Can’t you raise money without having to shave your head?... No, I really need to make a statement.”
Although inspired by Danny, the money Lloyd raises as a result will affect more than one child.
“I really, truly believe it’s a very small gesture. You know, in the broad scheme of things, it’s just hair.”
Lloyd’s goal is $5,000 and as of posting time, she’s at $5,025. You can help support Lloyd in her effort to fund childhood cancer research at ShaveKatie.org. The actual shaving event begins at Ri Ra Irish Pub on Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m., and Lloyd takes the barber seat at 8.
Can’t make it Thursday night? Watch it all on the live feed online here.
Read what Katie had to say about the whole thing over at Witty + Pretty.