My name is Shelby McCallister. In May 2020, my mother Ruth passed away from cancer. For the anniversary of her passing, I am going to make The Big Chop and donate my hair. This will be my third and biggest donation. In my mom's honor, I am raising money to be donated to the American Cancer Society. Your donation will aid in funding and conducting research, supporting patients and their families, and spreading information about prevention.
In October 2011 when I was a senior in high school, my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer. The first question she asked her doctor was not about how bad the cancer was, what treatment options were, or if she would survive this--it was about me. She asked her oncologist "Could this be passed on to my daughter?" She was more worried about me possibly getting cancer than her own very real diagnosis. She was such a devoted mother. She loved her children more than anything in this world.
She had a full hysterectomy, then chemotherapy. Chemo was so hard on her, but she never complained. Losing her hair was difficult for her. She always wore a scarf at home, and her wig when she would go out. She kept up with her oncologist checkups and was pronounced cancer free after five years.
In March 2019, she felt a lump on her side and thought it might be breast cancer. She went to her OB/GYN and they ordered tests. It was not breast cancer, it was the same cancer she had had the first time, a type of sarcoma. There were four tumors--the largest of which was on her ribcage. Because there were four tumors, it was not operable. The doctor said chemo in conjunction with immunotherapy would give her some time. He estimated two years.
Mom went through chemo again. I took her to every doctor appointment, every chemotherapy. It was even harder on her body than the first time. Mom moved back to Illinois into an assisted living facility. She lived there until February 2020, when she was moved to hospice. She passed away May 24, 2020. A small funeral was held on August 1st, and she was buried next to her parents and her sister.
For the first anniversary of her passing, I would like to cut and donate my hair. I am asking friends, family, and anyone whose lives have been touched by cancer to donate to this fundraiser to aid in cancer research and one day, a cure.
Thank you for your support!