Jan. 30th, 2013

lar_laughs: (that tickles - st. baldricks)
I've told you, over and over, how cool my sister is. She's probably one of my very favoritest people. This is more than partly due to the fact that she a pediatric oncology nurse. Yes, she works with kids with cancer. Because I understand a little about her work, working in pharmacy, I am privileged to get to be one of the people who she unburdens to. This, in itself, is a small miracle. My sister is one of those rare people who doesn't talk about the things that bother her. She holds in her hurt. Because of this, she suffers from a sort of depression in her down time. Nothing dramatic but I don't think she unwinds easy. Her heart, you see, is rather tender and she has to work to keep the iron bars that protect it in place.

I tell you this to share this with you. These are her words about why she shaves her hair for St. Baldricks:

As I get ready for my fourth year as a St Baldrick's Shavee I thought I'd take a look back at when it all started. I've realized that I've made quite a few new friends since that day. So here it is....

In November of 2007 I made a promise to a 5 year old named Arianna. One thing I've learned is that you don't get to go back on promises made to kids. I promised her I would shave my head. And so in Jan 2008 I found myself registering for my very first St Baldrick's event. Nervous, scared, worried, yep, those all described how I was feeling. And inspite of it all I was excited to be part of something so much bigger than myself.

Since 2002 I've worked as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse. I've cried with families, laughed with families and witnessed miracles. But I had always wondered if there was something more I could do. St Baldrick's gave me the opportunity to help change the face of childhood cancer. It allowed me to help bring more recognition to this group of diseases that often go untalked about, to help fund research, to help find a cure!

Everyday 36 children will be diagnosed with cancer, that is 13,500 ever year. 13,500! 1 in 5 diagnosed will die within 5 years. The simple fact is that the number 1 killer children only receives 4% of the National Cancer Institute's annual budget to fund research. That is 5x less than what breast cancer research receives. Let's face it, research isn't cheap! St Baldrick's is helping fill the gap between the government's funding and what is needed. And without us St Baldricks could not exist.

My first St Baldrick's experience was bittersweet. 2 weeks before I took the stage Arianna passed away. She was cancer free, thanks to a bone marrow treatment. But her body was too weak to fight off a rare side effect. As I came down off the stage, sans hair, I found her mom in the crowd.

She said to me "You know Arianna is looking down laughing."
I nodded, tears in my eyes. I would have expected nothing less from Arianna.

This is where I ask you to help me. I need help raising money. My hair for your donation. Feel free to share this with your friends and family to help me spread the word.


Why do I do it? BECAUSE IT'S THE LEAST THAT I CAN DO. For a woman, going without hair is sometimes seen as a shameful thing. Do I look good without hair? No, not really. I don't like standing out in a crowd but I dye my hair wild colors so that I can start a dialogue with people. It's tiring for the girl that doesn't like talking to stranger, let me tell you.

But I do it because I like seeing our honored children at the event. We lost two this year. They will be so missed, I can't even tell you how heavy my heart is. One of the honored children is 17 and in remission. He doesn't mind coming back to the site of one of the most traumatic events of his life, reliving his days with cancer, because he has friends who are still battling.

I don't want to lose any more children. If that means I'm uncomfortable in my own skin for a couple of months, so be it! I cry at the event every year. I weep like a baby most of the time. For my hair? For my vanity? For my pride? No. For the kids well enough to come to the events, all of them with smiles lighting up their faces. For the kids who aren't well enough to come but send a representative, usually a parent worn down and gray with the stress of having a sick child. For the kids who aren't there because they lost the battle.

Please donate. My link is right here: www.stbaldricks.org/participants/shelleyk2013. The organization has a good track record for using a good percentage of the money raised for research and not for administration costs. Most all the people who run the events are volunteers. This year, Mandie and I volunteered to be shavee coordinators so I get to use some of my Event Management skills, something I am super excited about!

And thank you! Thank you for stopping in your day to read this.
lar_laughs: (Marvel - Jeremy Oh Snap)
Title: Silence is Golden
Prompt: just before the battle and chess match at [community profile] writerverse
Word Count: 586
Rating: Mature
Original/Fandom: Fandom (Avenger!movie verse)
Pairings (if any) (implied) Clint/Natasha, Steve/Darcy
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con etc): none
Summary: Tony always forgets the first rule of friendship with Master Assassins: Don't ask a straight-forward question and expect a straight-forward answer. Also, Darcy needs more practice verbally sparring with Tony.

Just before the battle, there were things that needed to be said. )

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