For someone going through treatment for cancer, losing their hair can be one of the more traumatic parts of the experience. Hair loss, often a side-effect of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, is often a signal to others, and an every day
reminder for those in the battle.
It is not often someone would volunteer to lose their hair in the name of others, especially if they are a woman, but Karly Steinwehr, Hankinson, is doing just that for the Cares for Cancer benefit coming up at the end of March.
"I have always been active in raising money for the battle against cancer. It started 11 years ago when I was working with Heidi Heitkamp and her run for governor of North Dakota. She was battling breast cancer at the time and seeing that, being a part of that had an impact on me," Steinwehr said.
"I have also had a lot of friends and family who have gone through treatment for cancer, and I like to think I am doing this for them," she continued.
When put into perspective, getting your head shaved in the name of loved ones going through treatment might not seem that difficult in comparison, but Steinwehr's sacrifice will help out numerous people in Richland County. Cares for Cancer hopes to raise $5,000 for Steinwehr's hair, and they are well on their way.
"A lot of people have been coming in (to Lincoln State Bank in Hankinson where Steinwehr works) to donate and offer support so that has been nice. I usually get a mixed reaction from people who either think I am nuts or brave," Steinwehr said.
"My hair is kind of a hassle sometimes, so I don't think it will be too traumatizing to give it up, and it is for a great cause so that helps. It will be an emotional day, not because I will be losing my hair, but because of what it represents and I will be thinking of all the people I care about," she continued.
Steinwehr will also be donating the hair to Locks of Love, a program that creates wigs for patients going through cancer treatment.
The Cares for Cancer benefit is especially important because all of the money stays local. Some of the money raised will go to the Riverridge Hospice and the rest will go towards the Cares for Cancer grant program, which helps out those going through treatment with money for things like travel expenses.
This is their biggest fundraiser of the year, and if the early donations are any indication, it should be a great experience and help out many people in need.
Steinwehr recently went shopping for the wig she will be rocking after the benefit.
"The emotions are starting to set in now, not so much that my hair will be gone because it is something I can control. I am more emotional thinking about all the people that don't have control over that and have to deal with going through cancer treatments," she concluded.
Luminaries for the event are now available at Hankinson Drug, Post Hardware, and the News-Monitor for a suggested donation of $5.
The Cares for Cancer benefit will take place at the American Legion Hall in Hankinson March 31.
Donations can be dropped off with Steinwehr at Lincoln State Bank.