Molly Thomson and Solana Lam each looked nervous as the trimmers began to buzz and their shiny locks started falling to the ground.
But when it was done, the newly shorn girls didn’t miss their hair at all.
“It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was,” said Thomson.
“At first it was kind of odd,” added Lam. “It feels really weird having no hair on your head.”
The two Grade 7 students had their heads shaved Wednesday in front of their cheering classmates at Nelson’s Trafalgar Middle School after they raised approximately $1,000 for Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC), an organization that supports people in their teens, 20s and 30s who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Thomson got the idea when Diane Lines, the grandmother of Thomson’s friend, was diagnosed with uterine cancer in January.
Lines was on hand to watch the pair’s hair fly. The Nelson native has already had surgery, three rounds of chemotherapy and 27 radiation treatments this year with three chemo treatments still to come before, fingers crossed, she’s cancer free.
She brought knitted caps for Thomson and Lam to wear, as well as one for Thomson’s younger brother Floyd who joined in the shaving spectacle.
“I can’t even put into words how fabulous it is,” said Lines. “Young people are just absolutely amazing. It’s a big thing to have your head shaved and to lose your hair. I’m just absolutely flabbergasted at what they were going to do. I wouldn’t miss this for anything.”
Megan Simpson, who volunteers with YACC, made the trip from Creston to Trafalgar for the event. Simpson had cancer 10 years ago when she first got involved with the organization. YACC puts on outdoor retreats for people living with cancer, one of which Simpson and her then-husband attended.
“We didn’t really know what to expect and honestly we were just going for a free getaway together to just sort of decompress,” she said. “But we met so many people at different stages of the cancer journey, many of which we’ve now lost as friends who have passed away and I think we never would have relationships with otherwise. …
“To hear their stories and spend five days really opening up and having them open up back and exploring feelings, it was the least superficial five days of my life I think.”