Father and Daughter Shave Together for Kids’ Cancer Research

by Doris Rybaltowski, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 4, 2015

When Snehal Bhakta was signing up to shave his head for the fourth time, his 8-year-old daughter, Hridi, asked if she could join him. Read on to learn how the duo raised over $10,000 for childhood cancer research.

Hridi and Snehal Bhakta before and after head-shaving photos

With eyes full of tears and a joyful heart, a very proud father held his daughter’s hand on March 7.

It was an unforgettable moment for Snehal Bhakta, a four-time shavee℠, as he watched his beautiful daughter follow in his footsteps and shave her long, black hair to fund childhood cancer research.

“It was just a great experience — one of those things that, as a father and daughter, we shared,” Snehal said.

Snehal and Hridi rest their bald heads on each other and smile

Snehal and Hridi are still raising money to help kids with cancer! Donate on their page >

Snehal has been a faithful shavee since 2012, but this year was different. When he was getting ready to sign up, his 8-year-old daughter, Hridi, asked if she could shave along with him.

“She asked, ‘Daddy, if I shave my head, will we raise more money?’” Snehal recalled. “And I said yes!”

And they did. They used social media, shared before and after pictures, and told everybody their story. Together, they raised nearly $11,000 — more than Snehal had raised in the last three years combined!

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Before their shave, they had visited a local hospital where Hridi met kids going through treatment. That experience “really brought it all home” for Hridi, her dad said. “She was welcomed by kids going through treatment, and felt compelled to do something about it.”

When it came time to shave, Hridi’s nerves kicked in. “I was scared and a little bit excited,” she admitted. But then she remembered the kids in the hospital, and with her proud father next to her, she had all the confidence she needed. “I was next to my dad and I knew that he was proud of me. I knew it was a brave thing … and that I wanted to help the kids in the hospital.”

Hridi and Snehal Bhakta wave at the camera right before shaving their heads

“I was scared and a little bit excited,” Hridi said of the moments before her shave.

Just when Snehal thought he couldn’t be any prouder, he received a phone call from the school counselor congratulating him for what his daughter had done and telling him how proud they were of her.

“I don’t think she realizes the impact that she had on me or everyone else in her life,” Snehal said.

Snehal and Hridi before and after shave collage

Maybe not just yet, but Snehal is sure that one day, his daughter will know just how much her shave that day mattered.

“We’re going be able to look back years from now and say, ‘We did this. We helped raise over $10,000 to honor kids with cancer and help fund cancer research … . This is something that I think will help shape the person she’s going to be in the future.”

Make your future self proud. Be a shavee and help find cures for kids with cancer.

Sign me up!

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