Katrina’s Brave Shave & Empowerment Shoot
Just a few weeks ago I received an email from Katrina. Like most women facing hair loss from chemotherapy she was concerned about this looming reality. She was surprised when I told her this is one of the greatest concerns women face as they fight cancer. I remember during my own fight remaining calm when I heard the words ” you have cancer, but when they said my hair would fall out I felt crushed and defeated.
That defeated feeling is one of the reasons I created the Brave Shave & Empowerment Shoot service for cancer fighters. Women shouldn’t feel like they are losing when facing hair loss. Of course it is okay to feel sad, but women should start a cancer fight feeling strong and empowered. Watching your hair fall out in clumps and often facing that event alone is isolating, and quite the opposite of empowering.
Katrina was referred to the free Brave Shave & Empowerment Shoot service by her oncologist at the Stephenson Cancer Center. During our first phone call I recounted the experiences of other women we have helped through the program. I described how 100% of the women we have helped walked into the salon scared, timid, and concerned; however, they walked out smiling, confident, empowered, and without any of the wigs or head wraps they thought they’d most certainly need.
Katrina’s Brave Shave was no different. Since she is originally from New York and now lives in Lawton, OK ( about an hour and a half from OKC). It was just her and her friend who drove up for the Brave Shave. After checking with Katrina she affirmed it would help to have other women there who have been through the process to cheer her on. So an intimate group of friends, who understood, gathered to cheer on the lovely and vibrant Katrina.
Katrina’s Brave Shave was the epitome of seeing light pierce the darkness. She sat in the chair and was overcome with tears and emotion as she mustered the courage needed to stand up to cancer. As the stylist shaved off the last bit of hair Katrina started laughing and smiling and said, ” I love it”. The group cheered and we were all reminded of how strength and determination can overcome the most difficult of situations. After the Brave Shave we continued onto Katrina’s Empowerment Shoot, which was made possible through the generous donations of Tia Dawn Photography, Anna Brown Styling, and Mac Professional Makeup.
Don’t take my word for it though. Hear what Katrina had to say about the day:
“I have been truly blessed to have met such an amazing strong group of women yesterday. Since being diagnosed with cancer it has been one battle after another and all choices have been made for me without even a say, so yesterday I stood up and said there is one choice I have and its mine to make not cancers. I did the Brave Shave party and it was on my terms. Yes I was scared, nervous and afraid but when I saw what I could do to stand up and feel so empowered I did it!! Thank you to Tenaciously Teal and my friend Hannah and all the wonderful survivors and fighters that came to support me through this. The love and encouraging words helped me know that I’m a fighter and SURVIVOR and I’m not alone.”
As I told Katrina before the Brave Shave. Cancer Won’t take your hair, you will! And cancer can’t take your courage, spirit, determination, or bravery! If you’d like to help us continue to empower women through the hair loss process visit www.tteal.org/donate.