I recently had the absolute pleasure of meeting Kari, her sister and her friend. She tweeted at me asking if I knew anyone in the area that could come to the hospital to cut her hair before it fell out from the chemo.
Kari was recently diagnosed with Lukemia, you can read about it here, is staying at a local hospital while she goes through treatment/chemotherapy.
I read that tweet and felt the weight of sadness, fear, and hope all at the same time. And I wanted to give her an adorable haircut that she could rock for these next few weeks with her hair.
So I tweeted back at her, and we began e-mailing making plans.
My husband joined me and we got up on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago and headed over to the hospital.
We found Kari's room, knocked on the door, and were greeted with a cheerful and happy woman and her friends.
Kari's room was covered in photos of her three girls, her husband, and family members. She had cards strung across the window, and her sister and friend looked like they were busy working on little projects for her.
We all chatted for a bit, and then got down to business. Kari's hair was a few inches past her collar bone, and she wanted something shorter so it wouldn't hurt quite as bad as it came out. The longer the hair, the heavier the "pull" on the follicle.
*I swear she wasn't as scared as she looks here ;)
She had a *perfect* face shape for a chin length bob, so I cut off her hair and gave her a fresh new look. While I think it was hard for her to loose her beautiful,wavy locks, I think she was glad to have it shorter during this time.
While we were all chatting about our mutual love for musicals and such, Kari mentioned that she will need a bone marrow transplant. And her sister isn't a full-blood relative so there's only a slight chance that she'll be a match. (I believe it's still risky even if you are full-blood relatives, but correct me if I'm wrong.)
Her sister told me about a website where you can sign up to a registry and be a match if a patient needs a transplant, and you can find all that information here.
It was truly such a gift to be able to meet Kari and lighten up her load a little bit, in something as simple as a haircut. It's such a perfect example of how God can use something that can be deemed "vain" as something really meaningful and uplifting.
It's so good for me to be reminded of this as well. This industry doesn't have to be ultimately self-fufilling and self-focused. It can be used as a gift, an act of kindness, or a favor.
I hope you are encouraged too, in whatever it is that you do, that it doesn't have to be simply what the world makes it to be--you can take advantage of opportunities you are presented with to really make it much more than that.
If you are interested in following Kari's story, you can read all about it here.