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I Lost My Hair Twice Due to Cancer. Now I’m Losing It Again on Purpose.

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I’ve lost my hair twice in two years due to cancer, and I will be losing it again.

This time, I’m not so much losing it as I am consciously giving it. I don’t know if it will be long enough to be given to a foundation that accepts hair donations or if it will simply be placed in a trash can. Either way, I’m doing it and I’m ready for it come March 2017.

I’m shaving my head for a foundation that allows you to set up a profile, bring in donations over a period of time and at the end of it all you end up bald. You probably asking, “Why would you want to do such a thing?” That’s the question I now most frequently answer. 

I’ve been met with looks of confusion and hear doubt in people’s voices when they ask me this very question. They don’t know why someone who has been through cancer and has lost her hair involuntarily to this disease would want to go through it again if they didn’t have to. But I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing this for the people who could possibly benefit from my donations — shaving my head is just part of the equation. 

After being diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, losing my hair was basically the first of many of the little struggles I had to face. To a middle-school aged girl, hair is usually an important factor in who you are. But at the time, I wasn’t concerned about my hair because I had bigger fish to fry.

Slowly but surely, it began to go. It fell out everywhere — while I was walking, in the shower, at the dinner table and at night. Not long after, it was gone.

At first, it didn’t bother me, but after seeing all of my friends with long beautiful locks that they could play with, style and just have all of the time, I felt like I was missing something. I felt like I was missing something that made me like all the other girls, something I had always identified with as being who I am, something that made me beautiful.

Through treatment, I lost everything. But it took losing everything to find myself again. My hair is what is (or is not for that matter) on my head, but it’s not who I am. 

With that being said, I’m shaving my head to benefit others going through a situation I understand all to well, but also to show girls and everyone else that your hair doesn’t define you. It’s not what you look like or the hair on your head that makes you who you are. That’s not what makes you beautiful. Your beauty comes from within — how you greet people, how you care for others, how you handle hard times.

I’m so glad I’ve made this decision, and I am so ready to shave my head for this truly amazing cause. 

Shawna Miller’s donation page to cure childhood cancers is available here.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: September 1, 2016
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