Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pantene Beautiful Lengths, LPGA, and Li'l Ol' Me

Since I've been on the theme of hair lately, it's only appropriate I include the lowdown on the highlight of this whole bald chemo-head episode. As mentioned in the previous post, I was invited to participate in a bit of ponytail cutting during the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Event last Wednesday at the local Embassy Suites. This was in conjunction with the Proctor and Gamble hosted LPGA Tournament in our area that week.

As David and I arrived at the event, I was given a gold star nametag that proclaimed me a "Cutter". The ladies at the nametag table had all heard the story of our Walker event the week before and knew that there were two of us at the same school fighting cancer. I was surprised to suddenly be treated like a VIP. I was honored, but also felt pretty darn weird that it was because I happened to have cancer. Cancer has made me important. What's wrong with this picture?

I found a number of other Walker faculty, students, and parents, draped with black capes, ponytailed, and waiting to be cut. Included within this group were my principal and assistant principal, who were also there as VIP cutters, plus more faculty and family who were there as watchers and supporters. In all, hair donations from Walker alone numbered 15. The total number of heads that donated at least 8 inches of hair that night broke previous records, with over 80 people donating to this event. This means 210 ponytails were cut, which will now make up to 35 new wigs for cancer patients. Wow!

Two of her five ponytails...before the cut!
I was honored to be allowed to cut the 5 (that's right...5!) ponytails from the beautiful head of Jo Huggins. Jo is one of our 4th grade teachers and, not too many years ago, included my son, Sean, on her roster. Jo has ALWAYS had beautiful long red hair; in fact, I think she may have been born with it. (If you've been paying attention you may realize that, of the three heads of hair I cut, all were redheads...I am still wondering at the significance of that.) Jo's twin sister also joined in the fun and had her hair cut by none other than Doug Sprouse, the mayor of Springdale. Yep, I was rubbing elbows with the big dogs. Down the row from us were major LPGA golfers like Michelle Wie, Jayai Shin, and Cristie Kerr, also cutting ponytails.

We were told that it takes six ponytails to make one wig.  Jo had five!
This was an amazing and uplifting event in this often surreal episode of my life. Some events I know I will want to forget or wish never to have happened, but this is one I will always cherish, remembering the love, encouragement, and support I felt that evening.

Thanks to all who contributed hair in honor of me, Caryn, and the many others who have, are, or will be touched by this unforgiving disease. You are ALL my heroes!

This hair will make some seriously gorgeous wigs!
(And I'm thinking I need to invest in an eyepatch and a parrot.  Arggh.)


  1. It was a truly special event. I might just want one of Jo's wigs. :) I do think she was born with it. It was so neat having you cut the hair too!

  2. That is so touching! So glad you have such a wonderful support group there.

  3. I wish we had all been there to show our support, too, Patti. We love you and are praying for you and Caryn.

  4. I forgot to say that Michelle (the golfer) was MUCH taller than I imagined her to be!

  5. Patti,
    I hope you realize what a positive impact you are having on everyone around you. I would gladly cut my hair a million times to show you how much I love and admire you. As I've told you before, I can make people laugh all day long, but the tender, emotional moments are hidden a little deeper within me. Thank you for sharing one of those moments with me. You are truly amazing. Someday I hope to be half the person you are!

  6. Thanks you, ladies. You are all so sweet! I've said it before and I'll keep saying it...your support and encouragement means the world to me. have knocked my socks off! Girl, I've always thought of you as a tender hearted softie, so I'm not at all surprised by your actions. Thank you for giving me the honor of whacking that gorgeous hair! YOU are amazing!