Bald Is Beautiful.org, sends us a report and slideshows from the annual 46 Mommas Shave For The Brave event.
“… the adult is not the highest stage of development. The end of the cycle is that of the independent, clear-minded, all-seeing Child. That is the level known as wisdom. When the Tao Te Ching and other wise books say things like, ‘Return to the beginning; become a child again,’ that’s what they’re referring to. …The wise are Children Who Know. Their minds have been emptied of the countless minute somethings of small learning, and filled with the wisdom of the Great Nothing, the Way of the Universe." (Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh)
On a sweltry summer afternoon in Los Angeles, the outdoor plaza of Hollywood & Highland Center was converted into a sacred space of solidarity and love for the 3rd Annual 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Families pulled precious resources and traveled 1,000s of miles from all across the U.S. and Canada to be here, in the heart of Hollywood, and shave their heads en masse to raise awareness and funds for life-saving pediatric cancer research.
It’s 4:00pm and the stage is set. The barber chairs. The shaving gear. Commemorative ribbon-shaped cardboard easels filled with photos of the children we are honoring bookend the platform. The mall bustles with an array of activities — make-up, hats, face-painting and jewelry-making stations, t-shirts — for kids and adults. Pop music fills the air as the 46 Mommas get their locks tied off into ponytails, making even the eldest of women resemble a 10-year-old girl!
Onlookers are inexorably drawn to the palpable buzz (in the air and later across many heads!), and a casual Sunday afternoon is transformed into a day of awareness and inspiration. As the crowd thickens in the plaza and around the upper level walkways, we are introduced to the 46 Mommas, St. Baldrick’s, and the reason we were all there. As stated in the 46 Mommas mission statement, on an average weekday 46 children are diagnosed with cancer. So by this day’s end, 46 more families will have been handed this life-altering news. And “we are here to fight for our children!”
An eruption of cheers follows and before we know it . . . it’s clipper time!
Let the sheering begin! One by one, an emcee introduces each of these brave women as they bare their hearts and souls. Their shared stories are a rainbow of heartbreak, healing, passion, joy, unimaginable loss, relief, community, support, and most of all, Love. And hope. They offer prayers and calls to action to join as a community to eradicate childhood cancers, so that no one has to endure what is a parent’s greatest pain and fear — the possibility of losing their child — and feeling powerless in the face of it.
Some kids also volunteered to be shaved in support of their siblings, and this year, we shaved a few men’s heads, a first for the 46 Mommas! So I send a big, Bald Is Beautiful salute to the amazing Dads, who are also present, loving, and passionate advocates for these kids.
All of this is for the lil’ warriors — the survivors, the ones still in treatment, and in celebration and memory of the young souls whose bodies succumbed to this relentless force known as “cancer”. Forget the Hollywood Walk of Fame — these kids are the real deal superstars!
The circle of 46 Mommas is wide and welcoming. And they, we, are an unstoppable force in the fight to find a cure! I love my 46 Mommas!
For more information, visit the following sites:
Bald Is Beautiful wants to extend heartfelt thanks to 46 Mommas and St. Baldrick’s for making me an honorary “Momma” and for inviting me to once again be a part of this incredible event. And special thanks and shout-outs to the on- and off-site sponsors (complete list available on the 46Mommas website).