Cathy Snyder is going bald in a couple of weeks.
But unlike her friends who are undergoing cancer treatment and her mother who lost her battle against the disease, Snyder is losing her hair by choice.
It’s a choice she made eight years ago too, and it’s one that she hopes will raise a lot of money for pediatric cancer research and for programs for children with cancer.
Snyder, an advertising sales representative at the Comox Valley Record, is shaving her head Sept. 10 during the eighth annual Dance de Rock in Courtenay.
Dance de Rock is a weekend-long dance event, which raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock — a major fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and programs for children with a history of cancer — and other cancer-related charities such as the Masons Cancer Bus Fund and the Comox Valley Hope Afloat Dragon Boat Team.
Somebody shaves their head to raise money for Tour de Rock every year during the weekend.
“It’s been on my mind for a long time,” said Snyder.
Snyder shaved her head to raise money for cancer research eight years ago when her mother was going through another round of cancer.
“She surprised me by coming out for the head shave,” she said.
Snyder’s mother lost her battle, and now, two of her friends are fighting cancer.
“One of them, when she told me the cancer she had, I thought it was a death sentence for her,” she said tearfully. “She’s going through her treatments, and they’re telling her she’s cancer-free, and I hope they’re right. She’s lost all her hair. Another friend is going through cancer as well and seems to have come out victorious, and I hope that’s true as well.”
Snyder says that “it just seemed time to do it again” this year.
“I felt really strongly about supporting them,” she said. “Tour de Rock, the money all goes to kids, and that’s something I can’t imagine going through with one of your kids. It helps raise awareness too.”
Snyder says she is finding this head shave particularly emotional.
“It’s been an interesting journey for me,” she said. “This time has been different, and I’m not sure why. It’s been a much more emotional time for me, maybe because I lost my mom or because my one friend is younger than me and my other friend is a year older. It’s just really hit close to home for me.”
“The good thing for me is going bald is a choice for me, and I’m raising funds and I know that slowly my hair will grow back in,” she added. “For me, it’s a good sacrifice to make. I’ll have my mom in my heart, and I’ll have a lot of people around.”
Snyder is collecting donations for Tour de Rock right now.
“I’ve had some really wonderful support from people, and people are really open to supporting Tour de Rock,” she said. “Everyone has stories to tell.”
Snyder has pledge sheets with her at the Comox Valley Record office at 765 McPhee Ave. in Courtenay. People can also donate online at www.copsforcancerbc.ca/tourderock/shavecathy and receive an instant tax receipt.
Snyder is shaving her head Sept. 10, but she will continue collecting donations for Tour de Rock beyond that date.