Friday, January 22, 2010

Grow it. Shave It. Beat it.

Inspiration comes in many forms. For some it’s the glimmering ocean or the promise of another blue sky. For others it’s a song, a sound, or a symphony. And still for others it’s something altogether different—maybe a look into a loved one’s eyes or the flavors of a favorite meal. Whatever it may be, inspiration makes us rise to the occasion. Makes us better individuals. Inspiration comes in countless forms, yes, but who knew that one man’s bald head would inspire so many of us? Turns out more people than I thought. I learned this last night, as a proud attendee of a fundraiser to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation. Its mission is simple: With the help of cancer patients who elect to shave their heads before they lose their hair to chemotherapy, the non-profit organization uses the donations raised by the volunteer’s network of supporters to fund childhood cancer research. As a result, St. Baldrick’s has funded more childhood cancer research than any organization in the United States—an awe-inspiring statistic that could not have been made possible without people like Rob Lane. An esteemed member of the Bermuda community, Rob was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma in December, a cancer of the lymphatic system that while treatable, remains incurable. As he said to the crowd who gathered to watch his blond locks fall to the floor, “It’s the cancer you want to have.” Although those who know Rob know that he could think of his cancer in no other way. His positivity is infectious. His outlook constantly sunny. His smile the widest in the room. Because of his courage Rob raised $78,111, and counting, for St. Baldrick’s Foundation in addition to a reported $5,000 cash stuffed in a hat by generous attendees at last night’s event. And then, just like that, someone who openly bid $600 for the privilege of doing so shaved Rob’s head in front of the crowd. His kids finished the job, Norelco razors in hand, camera bulbs flashing. And when it was all said and done, Rob and his newly bald head stood up, thanked the crowd profusely and continued to smile some more. Last night was not just about cancer. It was a celebration of life. About how we as individuals can help to inspire others. Rob sure has and no doubt you can too. For more information on how you can donate to St. Baldrick’s Foundation go here and to help Rob reach his $150,000 goal, donate here. And the next time you're searching for inspiration don't forget the unlikely places where you just might find it. I sure won't.


  1. Dear David,

    Thank you for shining a light on Rob's shaving and how he has so graciously turned his diagnosis into a helping hand for kids with cancer.

    The St. Baldrick's Foundation and our Bermuda partner, PALS, have long been grateful for the generous patronage of the people of Bermuda, and Rob's leadership is a stunning example of your island's can do spirit.

    With all of your help, we will achieve a cure for every childhood cancer in our lifetime, whilst improving the quality of life for patients and survivors.

    In your service,

    Kathleen Ruddy
    Executive Director
    St. Baldrick's Foundation

  2. Thank you David for writing Rob's story ... he has such a positive outlook, which is important and even more so, in a time where many would focus on themselves, Rob has chosen to think of children with cancer. It takes a strong person with a big heart to do what he has. Sending a big thank you to you (David) and much love and prayers to Rob, Melissa, Ryan, Alexis and little Olivia. Myself (Barb Seawall / Rob's cousin), my daughter Chloe and Rob's Aunt Mar and Uncle Bill send all our love and hugs.