In March, during my wife Chris' annual mammogram, there was a cancerous lump detected.
If Chris had to have chemo, she would lose her hair. So I decided that I would shave my beard and head in solidarity.
Our friend, and author, Jay Lake has been battling cancer for the several years now and the incidental costs are overwhelming his income. So an ongoing fund raising campaign has begun, with events at various science fiction conventions, functions and online.
When Baycon announced they would be hosting a fundraiser for Jay, I thought I could show solidarity with Chris and help support Jay. I decided to contribute an act of Whimsy (see Jay's blogs for examples) -- $200 for the beard, $300 for the mustache, $500 for the hair. http://goo.gl/BAoGy
This is very emotional change for me. I have not cut my hair short since I left the Us Air Force in 1989, I've have a mustache since I left basic training in 1984, I have had a beard since 1990. Chris has never seen me without facial hair, except in pictures
Fortunately Chris' tumor was surgically removed with clean margins and follow-up tests showed it to be a very lazy form of cancer. So Chris just has to have radiation treatments, so there should be no hair loss.
Since I had not announced the planned act of whimsy, I decided not to offer it. But then, at the closing ceremony at Baycon, the fundraising totals were announced. The total for Jay's fundraiser was $2640 (see the Baycon blogs for exact numbers), so I jumped up and said if there were donations to take it to $3000, I would shave my beard & mustache. In under 10 minutes, the money was collected.
I was planning on shaving in my room and making the reveal at the Dead Dog, but folks asked if I would shave in public if the total collected exceeded $500. I agreed assuming another few minutes of fund raising Turns out a total $550 had already been collected.
Someone asked "How much for the hair?" Several hands shot up into the air holding more money. Chris quickly said "NO!", so I called out loudly "My wife says 'NO!'" and the hands went down reluctantly.
At the Dead Dog party, there were towels, hot water, razors, shaving gel and a mirror. Chris trimmed my beard and I started shaving. In front of 200+ folks. It took nearly 15 minutes, using all 5 razors in the package, but in the end I was clean shaven for the first time in 23 years. Photographs were taken and at at least one person took a video of the entire process.
Fred Capp's "John's Close Shave" Album: http://goo.gl/KThVa
Note: This album is on Facebook and you must be logged in to FB to view it.