ASIJ parent Alisha Glaser explains how her 9-year-old daughter, Sophie, raised over $11,000 for pediatric cancer research:
Back in March, Sophie found out about the amazing St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and their work raising funds for pediatric cancer research. Ever big-hearted, Sophie was empowered by the idea that she could help and that this was something she could do as “just a kid.”
And so she proposed shaving her head to raise money. We talked about it with her, and as a family at length, explaining what people might say or think when they see her without hair. But she was even-keeled, strong in spirit, and clear of purpose. And so we supported her 100%.
She wrote the loveliest of letters and my husband and I forwarded it off to everyone we knew. She talked about it to people in person, to kids at school and they went home and talked to their parents, and friends stopped me in the neighborhood and around town to talk about the plan and lend their support.
Sophie’s letter read:
Dear Family & Friends,
Oh, let’s see. Where should I start this? Oh, I know!
It all started with two special people in my life. Within a few years of each other, my kindergarten teacher and one of my closest friend’s Mom both had cancer. While they were getting their treatments they lost all of their hair and had to wear wigs. I’m so lucky because both of these great ladies are happy and healthy today and still in my life! In honor of them, I grew out my hair and was able to cut four ponytails to donate last summer.
I recently heard about a friend who shaved his head to raise money for cancer research. This sounded great! My hair is growing out now, and I still want to help. (I say my helping sense is tingling). My parents and I looked into it and found out that all the money raised goes to help kids with cancer. Sounds good to me!
So here’s my plan: On May 9th at 5:00 pm I’m going to cut off all my hair and donate it again. And what little bit is left is going to be shaved completely bald with St. Baldrick’s. Would you please sponsor me and help me raise money to fight cancer? All the money I raise will go to help kids with cancer. My goal is to raise $5,000.00!
I know some people will think it’s weird looking for a girl to be bald, but I’m OK with that. And I know people might think I’m sick, too, but I’m not and if they ask I can explain that to them and why I did this.
Thank you so much for your support and my parents promise they will send you pictures of the new bald me if you make a donation!
Soon to Be Bald Sophie
And the response was overwhelming.
See, most St. Baldrick’s events in America are big productions in bars or shopping malls with lots of participants, and professional advertising. Not our little One Girl Wonder in Tokyo. Our small community and Sophie of the Big Heart—you know what we all made happen?
$11,572.00 raised for pediatric cancer research!!!
And that, deserves a celebration, don’t you think? A celebration of our family and friends and their love and support. A celebration of those we love who have fought cancer and survived and are still in our lives and we are all the more blessed. A celebration of those we loved who lost their battles with cancer so we could remember them once more. A celebration of a room filled with children of all ages, who came to hoot and holler and cheer on a friend as she did something different. And a celebration of Sophie, who gave something way more than just her hair today.
For more information on Sophie’s fundraiser, see her page on the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Reposted with permission from Alisha Glaser’s blog.