Rae Lattery is part of the Kids Cancer Care Teen Leadership Program and her entry to the shave blog provides a different perspective on what it means to Shave Your Lid for a Kid. Not only does the shave program help fund essential Kids Cancer Care programming; but it shows moral support for kids who don’t have the choice in losing their hair. This is Rae’s story…
My name is Rae Lattery and I am a cancer survivor. When I was 11 I was diagnosed with A.L.L leukemia and my life was turned upside down. At first I was terrified, not knowing what will happen to me, hoping this was all a dream and that one day I’d wake up and everything would be normal. But it was real, it was very real. I spent the next couple months in the oncology clinic getting needles stuck into my hands, legs and arms, having different types of chemotherapy pumped into my body at a fast rate.
I began to lose weight, my energy, strength and all my hair. When I was allowed to come home for a couple days at a time I spent most of my day inside and resting. With my hair gone, I didn’t even want to leave the house. Most of my confidence was gone as well. Granted, I could rock a couple scarves, but I had no eyelashes and no eyebrows and I was completely bald. When I would go, out people would stare, kids would point and I felt like just disappearing so no one could see me. Some of the kids at school didn’t talk to me anymore and was afraid I’d be contagious, which didn’t help with my confidence.
Before I was bald, I had a lot of hair. I LOVED my hair. It not only helped with my confidence but I felt it distinguished me as a girl. When I lost it…well, you could only imagine. People would ask me if I was a boy or a girl. Some people would call me bud or he or even, that guy. I never wanted to leave my house again.
The Shave Your Lid For a Kid program is important to me because not only are people raising money and awareness for cancer but people are willing to give up their hair in the process. I think it definitely helps kids who have lost their hair to see other people willingly give up theirs to raise money and to show support. I think it is important to get involved in school or any head shaving event because then you are supporting people with cancer and you are telling the world that hair doesn’t matter as much as taking care of one another.