Buzzee Stories

Buzzees_ConnellyWhile our story isn’t one of tragedy, it is one of hope. My 2 sons heard a commercial for this fundraiser 2 years ago. They asked questions about what it was and I told them. We sat and had a  conversation about childhood cancer. They were surprised to know that kids could get sick like that. They were sitting in front of me with tears in their eyes and one said… “Mom, can we help get money for the sick kids?” I agreed that it was a great thing to do. They seemed so proud to be able to help out other kids, kids their own age, some older and younger. I think they thought that it felt so close to home for them really made them think. They were a little hesitant about shaving their heads. They asked why that is the way they would show support. I explained what happens when you have the medicine for the cancer. How your hair usually falls out, so that by the boys shaving their heads it was showing how much they care for other kids in a terrible situation. When I told them that, they were on board. Our first year at the Buzz Off, 2012, my boys along with 2 of their friends raised close to $2,300, and we were thrilled. Last year, a few others wanted to be involved, not only to join as part of our team, but for their own personal reasons. We were happy to have them. Our team went from 4 young boys… to 10 young boys, and 3 adults. And this year, 2013, they raised about $5,000!!! We couldn’t be more proud of our kids. It’s an amazing event and we will be there again next year, hopefully with a bigger team!

      – The Connelly Family, Buzzees

On January 19th – Michael and Amy received news that no parent ever wants to hear. Their 10-year old son, Zachary had been diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia which affects approximately 500 children annually. Soon after the diagnosis, Michael and Amy had to break the news to their son. Zachary took the news extremely well; although he wasn’t too enthused to learn that there was a strong possibility he wouldn’t be able to play baseball and ski with his family and friends this season.

On Wednesday, January 23rd Zachary was transferred to Boston Children’s to begin his treatment. Zachary will remain at Children’s for the next 6-months and will undergo extensive chemotherapy sessions beginning immediately. The outpouring of support that Michael and Amy have received has been amazing. If love alone could rid the disease from his body he would be home and back into his routine of practicing for the upcoming baseball season with The Worcester Heat and skiing with his family and friends.

Zachary’s battle has just begun…his family and friends are on this journey with him and we will continue to give him all of the hope, strength, and love he needs in order to win.

      – The Hare Family, Buzzees

Our story begins with my 6 year old son Logan.  Although he has not been affected directly through losing any friends or family to Cancer, our extended family has been affected with his Paternal Great Grandfather and great Aunt both having lost their battle to Cancer, as well as a cousin who is a breast cancer survivor.  We are avid hockey fans and sports seems to be a venue in which both an organization and individual support causes, especially the Red Sox with the Jimmy Fund and the Bruins with the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts. We have attended the Shawn Thornton Cuts for Cause the past two years so he had been exposed to the idea of shaving your head to raise money for children battling cancer.

One day earlier this year Logan pronounced “the next time I’m getting my hair cut, I am saving it”.  I could not imagine why he wanted to save his hair and thinking this was going to be a funny, casual answer from a 6 year old, I was amazed with his answer when I asked the simple question of why?  He responded “to give to kids that have cancer”.  I was never more proud of him in that moment.  That led to our discussion about the battle children fight with cancer and answering his many why questions.  We talked about although it was kind that he wanted to save his hair, he would need to grow it out long and then donate his hair.  I told him if he wanted to do that he could.  A few weeks later I saw The Kids Cancer Buzz Off on a billboard while driving home on 495.  When I got home that night, I pulled up the website and told Logan there was an alternative to growing his hair out, and showed him the website and explained how it worked.  When he first saw the photos of how short the buzz was, he said he didn’t want to do it.  He then asked to watch some of the videos, after watching the video on your website of children battling Cancer he said I will do it Mum!

I had Logan sit at my computer and fill out his entry form so that he was committed and positive he wanted to participate.  When I asked him how much money he wanted to raise as his goal he said $1,000 followed by that is a lot of money and will help a lot of kids.  After registering, he started fundraising and created a poster board for himself with his goal, and a thermometer.  He tracked every donation and added each person’s name to his poster that donated.  Not only did Logan meet his goal at the age of 6 of $1,000.00 he doubled it and raised a final total of $2,690.00 and was in the top 75 people for fundraising.

To prepare for the Buzz Off he stopped getting haircuts in March so that he would have more hair to buzz.  The Buzz Off was scheduled before the end of his finishing Kindergarten so I asked his teacher if he could talk to his class about what he was doing since on Friday he would leave with a head full of hair and come back on Monday with a new “buzz cut”.  He took his fundraising poster to school and sat in front of his teachers and 15 classmates and explained what he was doing and why.

The day of the Buzz Off he was very nervous and as he sat in the chair I could tell how nervous and scared he looked.  A young 6 year old who never sits still – sitting as still as could be between two adults as they buzzed his hair off.  I was preparing myself for tears, thinking perhaps he may not realize how short a 1 would be – when he got up out of the chair and felt his hair, the biggest smile came across his face as he said “mum my hair feels spiky and cool – it will grow back”.  Although he may not have realized the feelings he had going on, his 6 year old self – pride, courage and the accomplishment of sacrificing something for a tremendous cause – his step seemed a little lighter and he was on cloud 9.  On the way home I asked him if he was happy he did it he responded “yes, and I am doing it again next year!” I made the attached video for him to watch, and included comments on my Facebook from friends who donated to his fundraising page, so he could see what a wonderful thing he did, and at the age of 6.

      – Janelle-Mother of Logan, Buzzee North Andover, MA

Buzzees_JoshMost of you at one Mission already know my story, but for those that don’t here it is…So it all started 2 years ago when my 7 year old niece Carrah was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after going in for a routine tonsillectomy. She was going through treatments and the entire family just felt helpless. My wife and I were driving in the car one day and we heard a radio commercial for the Buzz Off to which my wife turned to me and said that she wanted to do it in support for Carrah. Next thing we knew five other members of my family had decided to join my wife’s team and we began fundraising for the 2012 event. Since I had no hair anyway, I decided I would help my wife and her team raise money by getting my workplace involved.  People I had never met within my company were so moved by the story that with their help we were able to raise over $30,000 as a team. The day of the event was such a great experience and Carrah was even chosen to shave Gronk’s head last year which was nice since that is her boyfriend after all, and don’t try to tell her otherwise.

When I started getting emails for the 2013 event, I wanted so badly to participate even though I had very little hair. Most everyone I talked to about it had the same reaction; they giggled a bit and then asked who would give me money to shave my head when I had no hair to shave. So what did I do?? I grew a beard and recruited people from work who did have hair to join my team. The company I work for even went as far as to challenge me to recruit some people who they felt had more to lose and offered to donate a reward if I were able to recruit them. Challenge accepted, I don’t think they ever thought I would be able to do it, but I did. Out of 12 people I was able to recruit 9 of them and I was also able to recruit one of the women I work with to join my team.

When I created the Buzz for Life team I put our goal at $50,000 and thought I would be lucky if we could get there. When we reached that goal I increased it to $100,000 as a joke, never thinking that we could possibly reach that goal. Together, we raised over $52,000 on our own with another $54,000 coming from the company’s contribution. In all we were able to raise over $106,000 for One Mission.
Many of you have probably seen the Wanted Poster T shirt pictures floating around. This is how we were able to convince people to join our team. It was a fun and creative way for us to get people involved and it seemed to work pretty well. I challenge all future buzzees to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to get friends, family, and coworkers involved in this great event.

      – Joshua, Buzzee & Team Captain of Buzz for Life

Buzzees_BethanyI decided to shave my head for the following reasons.  Cancer has touched my family in many ways.  I lost my Meme’ to an inoperable brain tumor ten years ago.  This was a huge loss for my family as she was one of the most wonderful people I have ever met.  My Mother is a breast cancer survivor,

7 years now.  My Father is a bowel cancer survivor, 8 years now and I am also a survivor of cervical cancer going on 4 years.  I have watched friends battle this horrible monster some losing the fight and others pulling through.  I am hoping that my contributions added to the millions of others we may be able to get rid of this plague all together some day.

I felt as though I accomplished something huge when I shaved my head.  I work on a Navy Base where most of our Sailors are students in Officer Candidate School.  The reason why I did not go to the stadium to shave my head was because I did it with our students on the first day of class.  It was a ton of fun and I know that many people were impacted by what I did.

I was featured on the Navy Station Newport RI face book page with a little story on what I did and why.  I will do it every year!!  Next year I am hoping to get some other people involved with me.

Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity I look forward to next year!!

      – Bethany, Buzzee

Buzzees_RobinI got buzzed for 2 reasons….my 21 year old daughter signed up (I’m so proud of her!) and I have a great nephew who had a rare disease that required him to get a bone marrow transplant at the age of 3. He lives in Maine but had his transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital. He had lived an isolated life until he was 4 as this disease caused his immune system to be severely compromised. So one year post transplant he was finally able to do things he never did before….go to the park, the grocery store, church, etc. everything was so fascinating to him!! Thank God his disease is gone and his transplant took beautifully. I’m so thankful your organization gives us this opportunity!!

      – Blessings, Robin, A Buzzee

John_S_TestimonialI had the great pleasure of participating in the Kid’s Cancer Buzz Off this year at Gillette Stadium. I want to start by saying the event far exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t exactly sure how the event operated but before I even sat in the chair to have my head buzzed I had started looking forward to next year.

Seeing so many people there, young or old, men or women was refreshing. Hearing the stories of why people were there was more than inspiring. I had no idea it would be that inspiring and uplifting!

There are a few reasons why I participated. For starters I have known far too many people that have had cancer. Some survived and are cancer free, others are in remission with the hopes of reaching cancer free and sadly a number of them succumbed to the awful disease.

Next is as much as I hate cancer it is even worse too see young kids impacted. These kids don’t have the choice in their hair loss. Their meds and treatments take their hair from them. I wanted to honor/support these patients by making the choice to shave my head, to show them they are not alone. And that hair does not define who they are.

Included is a close friend, who is a true survivor. Seven years ago was diagnosed with kidney cancer, a battle that she has won to date. Last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, a battle she is winning. I think it was by sheer will and fighting spirit she never lost her hair, so I shaved in support of her and admiration for her courage and fighting spirit!

See you in 2016!
John G Stevenson

Buzzee_AngelaWhen I returned to work after braving the shave, I had several messages of support from not only my clients but, from various clients. People had seen the news that night and the paper on Monday morning. I work in salon as a stylist – therefore, a lot of focus is on hair. Over the next few weeks I received several copies of the metro section which headlined May 4th’s Buzz Off. All my clients, coworkers and their clients were just so excited that they were able to be apart of such a wonderful cause by donation and moral support. It gave us all such a sense of connection! I thought as days and weeks passed this would change. I was very wrong. People continue to come by just to see how much my hair has grown and continue to ask about One Mission. I have never cut so many donation cuts in my career (15 years). So many of my clients have been inspired to chop their ponytails to give to those with no choice of hair loss much less a hairstyle. It has been incredible watching the change all around me. The salon as a whole has continued to be “a buzz”! I’ve never had so many people I don’t know ask me about the buzz and tell me thank you. I have heard so many stories of people and cancer. Some ending with loss -some not. All are touching to me and reaffirms why I signed up for The Kids Cancer Buzz Off.

Maggie is one of my client’s daughters. She decided she wanted to brave the shave also. Big decision for anyone but for a 13 year old girl it is huge! When we see each other we like to compare our grow outs and experiences before and after the Buzz Off. She has received very similar feed back and kindness in return as well.

You know Dallas is a pretty big city but news travels fast. I’ll go into the restaurants in our shopping center at work to pick up my lunch and restaurants on other sides of town and they refuse my money! It is always the same…”Thank you for what you have done!”. It is so beautifully overwhelming.

I volunteered to buzz in support of others but, what I have received in return has been tenfold. I can’t believe the unity I continue to witness. I have no regrets not even with the lack of hair -as a hair stylist!

I am so honored to have been apart of One Mission’s Kids Cancer Buzz Off. Thank you for giving Dallas a chance!

It is always wonderful to hear from “ya’ll”. I have attached a collage of me having fun with my buzzed head.

With a very grateful heart,
Angela Senor

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