A picture is worth a thousand words. And sometimes, there’s so much more – there’s heart, and joy and love.
In February, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation shared this photo to ring in the “month of love.”
Little did we know that this photo captured so much more than a warm embrace after a St. Baldrick’s shave. It captured the story of spontaneity, of selflessness, of one little girl being so moved by what she saw and experienced, that she just had to do something.
So what did lead up to this photo being snapped? Hallie Carl, the St. Baldrick’s participant embracing this little girl, tells us the story behind the photo:
“This was one of the coolest moments of my St. Baldrick’s event. The sweet, little girl in the photo is Samantha. She was there with her mother, Kristen, and two brothers, Nathan and Jacob. They had stopped by to take in the event, not shave.
This family stood and watched as person after person shaved their head for children fighting cancer. Spontaneously, her brothers hopped right up into the barber chairs and decided they wanted to shave too. After they were shorn, Kristen loaded the kids in the car and they were ready to drive away.
And that’s when the amazing happened. Samantha yelled, ‘STOP!’
(Photos by Rilie Dee Photography)
Kristen looked back and Samantha said, ‘Mommy, go back. I want to shave my head too. I had Kyla in my Kindergarten class last year who had cancer and lost all her hair. I want to shave my head to support Kyla.’ Samantha didn’t want her friend to be alone; she wanted to be bald with her.
They came walking back to the event as things were being wrapped up. When Kristen told me Samantha’s decision, I was a little nervous. Did this little girl understand what she doing? I got down on my knees and explained to her how long it would be before she had hair again.
‘Are you sure you understand and want to do this?’ I asked.
With eyes full of excitement and wisdom far beyond most young children, she said, ‘YES!’
So up into the chair she went. Her mother watched with tears of adoring pride over the selfless act her daughter was performing.
When the shave was complete, Samantha practically sprung off the chair and bubbled with excitement. I fell to my knees and hugged that little girl. What an example of being bold and taking a risk – it was incredible. There is just something remarkable that happens when you step outside yourself and are willing to risk months of looking different and having people stare. You realize there is something so much bigger than yourself and that the way you look is really not that important after all.
I have never seen so much beauty as I did that day.”
Thank you Hallie for sharing this story; and thank you Samantha for your beautiful heart for kids fighting cancer. Together, St. Baldrick’s participants are making a difference – one bold, and sometimes spontaneous, shave at a time.