Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'm Shaving My Head.

That's right. I'm shaving my head. For real.

Most of you have heard about, if not been following, the story of Superman Sam (a.k.a Sam Sommer), the son of dear friends of mine, Rabbis Michael and Phyllis Sommer. Sam has leukemia and, devastatingly, all treatment options have failed. You can read all about him, and the terrible, beautiful, painful, inspiring, devastating journey they've been on at http://supermansamuel.blogspot.com/.

Just a short time ago, another Sam, this one the son of an old Youth Group friend, died of cancer. His story was captured by his mom at http://enough4now.blogspot.com/. It's no less devastating, or inspiring, than the Sommers' blog.

I've had other friends (and congregants) who have battled pediatric cancer, as well. Many of them have watched their children win the battle. Some have not. All have been devastated by the ordeal. And, many have noted along the way that funding for pediatric cancer is insufficient. It needs more attention, and it needs more money.

We simply have to find a way to stop cancer from killing children.

Among the many terrible feelings that come along with watching friends go through this hell is an overwhelming sense of helplessness. That intense feeling of wanting to do something -- anything -- in response to this. But, what can we do? What can I do?

Thankfully, some Rabbis have started a Shave For The Brave campaign for other Rabbis. That's right--a bunch of us are getting together at the CCAR (Reform Rabbis') Conference in March, and we're shaving our heads. We're doing this to raise awareness, and to raise money for research.

I've already signed up, and I set a fundraising goal of $1000. I have no idea what a realistic number is, but I have a feeling that all of the people that I know and love will make it easy to raise that much, and even more. Please give. Please, please, please give. Give because you love Sam, or Sam, or Lilah, or some other child who has fought cancer. Give because you hate seeing kids suffer, and you hate seeing their parents suffer. Give because you're dying to see me look ridiculous (which I'm sure I will). Give because you want to see my children (who are healthy, and I now thank God for that, every single freaking day) laugh at me openly when I come home from the conference. Give because you hate cancer. Give because we have to find a way to stop cancer from killing children, and adults.

Give for any reason at all.

Just, please, give.

My fundraising page is at: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/660569/2014.

p.s. Mike and Phyllis, Sabrina, Eric and Tami and Lilah, Rebekah and Russell (even though I don't think I've talked to you two since college!), and all of your families, and everyone I'm forgetting to mention right now--I love you guys.