MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – This weekend, you can get a haircut while helping kids who are battling cancer.
Janice Slavin's daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. She lost her hair for the first time that year.
“She [Holly] saw me getting emotional about that and in an effort to comfort me she said, 'Oh momma, it's okay. We'll throw my hair out for the birds and they'll use it to build their nest,' which is something she had learned in kindergarten from her kindergarten teacher,” Slavin said.
Holly has been cancer free for four years, but the Slavin's still share their locks with the birds.
“Luckily now its just our hair clippings from trims that we throw out into the yard,” Janice Slavin said.
She is hoping you will want to get a hair cut and share some strands during the 'Blessing of the Birds' fundraiser to benefit Radiation Vacation. That is a non-profit founded by Janice to help families who have children with cancer that are receiving radiation treatment.
“The treatment themselves are only about 30 minutes, so that leaves a lot of free time for the portion of the family in Atlanta to go out explore and do things,” Slavin said. “But often because finances are so difficult during that time, they're not able to do things.”
The non-profit gives families across the Peach State tickets to the zoo, the Georgia Aquarium, baseball games, whatever the child wants to do. It is all in an effort to make a scary time a little more fun.
“They deserve that peace and that fun time, we all do,” Debbie Patson, a hair stylist at The Cutting Company which is a salon participating in the fundraiser. “We all like to have that good time and it's for those families to be able to do and just enjoy being together and having fun.”
“It gives them some time to still live their lives while they're on treatment,” Slavin said. “Kids still have that need to be kids and as parents, we still have that need to provide for them those fun things that kind of get left behind because we're overburdened with the chemo, radiation, the appointments, the kid's counts, and whether they're healthy enough to go out.”
It is more than a hair cut, it is a blessing with every snip.
One dollar from every hair cut at participating salons across the state is going to Radiation Vacation from April 10th through the 12th. Visit www.facebook.com/RadiationVacation to find a salon near you or check out www.radiationvacation.org for more information.
If you are a salon owner, it is not too late to participate. You can sign up by emailing Slavin at email@example.com.