Guest Blogger Charlie Johnston
In December 2010, I decided I was tired of cutting my hair. In April 2011, about the time I was running my third Boston Marathon, I decided that when I finally cut my ever-lengthening hair, it would be for something meaningful. And on April 7, I will be saddling up on a barber’s chair to donate my hair to make wigs for cancer patients through Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program.
Ok, perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s back up a little. When I was 10 years old, my mom was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. It was bad. Her doctor suggested that she get her affairs in order. I don’t remember much from this dark chapter in my family’s past, but I do remember going to see her at the hospital one spring afternoon during her treatment—she was admitted the day after Mother’s Day and spent the remainder of the month there. I thought I was going to get to hug my mom, to have her hold me and tell me everything was going to be all right. That didn’t happen. Instead, I talked to her on a phone through a plexiglass partition like the ones you see in jails on television crime dramas. Recalling the memory today still makes me cry. I resolved then and there that I didn’t want another child to ever have such a memory.
Fast forward to January 2010, four months before my second trip to run in the Boston Marathon, when I stumbled onto a website about an American Cancer Society program called DetermiNation. Basically, I would be asked to raise donations (and by default, awareness) for the ACS in exchange for some cool swag, a […]