New Year's Eve had always been a celebratory day for Courtney Moore. Not only was it the day after her daughter's birthday, but it was also her wedding anniversary. But in 2009, that day changed her life in a terrifying way: Her daughter Georgia was diagnosed with leukemia.
Doctors told the 10-year-old about all the treatments she would undergo over the next two-and-a-half years. The 4th grader was scared but knew they were necessary. But when Georgia heard chemotherapy would make her hair fall out, she started to cry.
"I turned to her and I said, 'I know that sounds very strange, but that's just the medicine you have to take that makes hair fall out, and once you take the medicine it will grow back,'" Moore said. "'Daddy's hair, on the other hand, that's not going to grow back.'"
This Saturday, Moore will team up with 46 Mommas in a Shave for the Brave event. She and 27 other participants will shave their heads in a fundraising effort for St. Baldrick's Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research.
Every weekday, 46 children are told they have cancer, so the team holds an annual shave in which moms — and survivors, siblings, and dads — go bald to help young cancer patients. It's a moment of empowerment, and the funds go toward finding a cure for cancer, less-toxic treatments, and remedies for patients recovering from the disease.
Georgia has been off treatment for three years, but Moore continues to get shaved with 46 Mommas each year. Now a "media momma," she's on her third year in leadership with the team. Saturday's team will include three kids who survived cancer, two siblings, and a dad. The participants come from all over the country, and two will be traveling from Canada.
The team's first event was in Los Angeles in 2010, when it set a goal of raising $1 million. Six years later, it's raised $1.7 million and is shooting for $146,000 from its event on Saturday.
Not only does 46 Mommas help fund research, but it also provides a support network for the mothers when looking for medical answers, school information, or emotional support.
"It's not a club you ever wanted to join," Moore said, "but once you're in it, I've gotten nothing but positive things from being part of the team and being part of St. Baldrick's and the solution."
To support 46 Mommas in their fight against childhood cancer, leave a donation through their webpage.
Marissa Laliberte is an Editorial Intern at Parents magazine who loves running, baking, and drinking coffee. Follow her on Twitter: @mjlaliberte
Logo image courtesy of 46 Mommas