Why We Shave: One Family’s Commitment to Find a Cure [PHOTO ESSAY]

by Lauren Feller, St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 13, 2017

St. Baldrick’s shavees are all motivated by different things — a family member or friend, a close connection to the cause, or just the desire to help kids with cancer. So what inspires an entire family to shave year after year? Read more to find out!

kyle and his sons at a head shaving event

Kyle and his sons Jack and Benton at a St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event.

Kyle Christensen is no stranger to head-shaving.

In fact, he’s been a shavee at St. Baldrick’s events for 10 years. Now, his passion for the cause has evolved into a family tradition, as each of his kids have braved the shave to raise money for childhood cancer.

“I have these before and after photos on the wall in my house,” Kyle said. “I look at these daily, and they make me so proud of St. Baldrick’s and what it has taught my children about life, giving back, and letting go.”

He explains, “I shave for a simple reason — what if it were my kids?”

And Kyle’s kids? They shave for some pretty good reasons, too — so we asked them to tell us about it.

Jack Christensen, 16, five-year shavee
jack before and after shaving his head

Photos by Jamie Kingham

“I shave for my grandmother and for my friend’s mother who both died of cancer. I also shave for all the kids who don’t have a choice that cancer impacts their lives — losing their hair, spending days in bed, and being in pain through treatment. For me, it’s a horrible thing to imagine, but thousands of children feel like that every day. I may only be one kid shaving my head, but I’m part of a bigger community committed to helping others.

Benton Christensen, 27, four-year shavee
benton before and after shaving his head

Photos by Jamie Kingham

“I watched a close friend of mine get diagnosed with melanoma and lose his fight to the disease within 11 months. Watching that was probably the hardest thing I’ve endured in life. Knowing that there are big brothers like me, as well as their mothers and fathers, who have to watch their child fight that battle, is my motivation to not only participate in St. Baldrick’s but to advocate for it like I now do. If by participating in an act of selflessness, and having fun while doing so, can possibly prevent a child and their family from enduring that unimaginable pain, you better believe I’ll be bald every year to come.”

Chloe Christensen, 19, one-year shavee
chloe before and after shaving her head

Photos by Jamie Kingham

“My favorite part of the whole event was being around the other shavees and their families. The energy and optimism that they brought to the event gave me no doubt that I was doing something important. There was one particular little girl, a daughter of one of the shavees, who kept following me around. Later I was told that she thought it was so cool that I was shaving my head and she thought that I was brave. Knowing that I can have an impact on someone as young as her is something I won’t forget. Coming together for an important cause and raising money is what the event is all about, and I’m glad to have contributed to that.”

Be bold and be bald. Sign up to be a shavee and help fund lifesaving childhood cancer research.

Be a shavee

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