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Today I got my first ever sponsorship donations and I am on an unexpectedly giddy high as a result.

I sent out a mass group email yesterday and I am sorry to say that I did email a fair few people I haven’t been in touch with for a while.  However, it clearly paid off as my first two donations are from friends I don’t often see or contact.  Thank you very much, Bruce and Ben, for being my first two sponsors.  EVER!  I am touched and hugely appreciative of your generosity and for responding to my out of the blue email.

I have also now had more than one person enquiring as to what I’ll do if I don’t raise my target of £1,000.  While my day two high of setting all this up and getting my first donations in cannot be stubbed out completely, the issue of what to do if I only get £343 is looming large.  I have decided to increase my donation time from three months to one year (during which time at least my hair will grow and I will get through another winter with the warmth of my hair).  If I don’t get it within the year, I guess I will have to just do it, but I will resort to drastic fundraising tactics before I give up on the £1,000.

This morning, knowing that more people now know what I’m planning to do, I decided to make my hair look as long and shiny (the latter part failed due to wind and drizzle) as possible.  It worked as I had one observation as to how long my hair currently is and I only actually saw three people I know today anyway!

I have also been checking out hair in general.  I am now hoping even more that my hair will grow back differently, perhaps thicker, more shiny and a nice, healthy brown.

In short, I have now become obsessed with hair.  And checking my sponsorship page.  And talking/emailing about it with absolutely anyone who engages me in conversation on any matter, however unrelated.

I fear this blog could end up a smidge less exciting than I had envisaged.  I’ll keep it short in future!

Thank you for my current donations, for the emails and texts I have received and for the encouragement.  It’s all hugely appreciated and I am thoroughly enjoying all this at the moment!



A very flattering photo that makes me look loads younger - hair a year agoAs of today, 30th October 2013, I am starting fundraising to reach my target of £1,000 for Macmillan, the achievement of which will result in my becoming bald.  Expletive.  The reality is kicking in and I’m starting to feel marginally panicky.

Today, I overheard three separate conversations about hair and engaged in two additional conversations on the same theme.  And I hadn’t even told any of those people about this.  Gulp.  I realise more than ever what a big deal it is, particularly for a woman, to “lose” their hair.

I am going to donate my hair to Little Princess Trust (assuming I really do have less than 10% grey!), a charity that donates real hair wigs to children undergoing treatment or illness that results in hair loss.  http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/

As for Macmillan, I have chosen them as the recipient of the £1,000 I am desperately hoping I can raise (I am no longer on Facebook, don’t work in a big office, don’t have a massive email list – any suggestions on how to find large numbers of sponsors?!) because I think they do wonderful work.  I know far too many people who have needed to use the services, support and amazing nurses from Macmillan.  I also found out that a staggering 98% of their income comes from donations.  http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/AboutUsHome.aspx

I have been wanting to do something for charity beyond clearing out my wardrobe and taking clothes to charity shops for quite a long time now.  I know more people than I could ever have feared possible who have, have had or who, tragically, have died as a result of cancer in the past year to two years (and many more beyond that).  These people, friends, family and people close to friends, have been aged between ten and in their 80s and, off the top of my head, at least five of those have been people around my age.  I guess if something is going to make you take notice and force on you different perspectives, it’s when people your own age, ie too young as far as I’m concerned, discover they have cancer.  That said, everyone of every age who I know has cancer; it’s always upsetting and a shock.  But maybe you know what I mean;  it emphasises the notion of “it could be me”.

May 2011 - see how long it takes to grow hair!I have long hair which I figure can be used to make a child’s life a little more normal-feeling and that’s certainly one good reason to get rid of my hair.  But, aside from also wanting to raise money for an amazing cause, I want to experience life without hair (and for me it should only be temporarily as my hair should go back straight away).  I was naive enough to think that people treated those without hair (perceived to be cancer sufferers undergoing chemotherapy treatment) as they would treat them with hair.  It turns out that is not the case.  That horrifies, shocks and upsets me.  I wonder if I will experience any adverse comments or reactions on the assumption I have lost my hair through illness.  I really hope not.

However, the more I think about being without hair and look around at women (I’m less interested in men because most of them have short hair anyway!) with lovely hair, the more I realise that my hair is a huge part of my comfort blanket, familiarity and, perhaps most importantly, my personality and character.

Admittedly, I have always gone from short to long to short where hair is concerned so it’s not like I’ve never had short hair (though it’s never been anywhere near bald!).  But for the past few years, I’ve had long hair and, however messy it usually is, it’s a huge part of how I see myself and how others see me.  It’ll be like going to school when you’ve had your hair cut and hoping no one will tease you or laugh at you or point at you … only worse.

I’m also convinced it won’t all grow back or it will all grow back grey with the shock of finally seeing my skull!  As to my appearance without hair, that scares me.  I realise I will probably feel a need to take more care over my appearance and try to look a little more feminine.  I do not have the delicate features of the likes of Sinead O’Connor or Jessie J.  I have also seen photos of myself with a swimming hat on – not good.  I think it will make me feel very face conscious …

Right, I’m thinking too much about the possible shape of my skull (I know it’s big because I have trouble with “one size fits all” hats!).

So, on that thought, I will end my first blog post since February.  I intend to keep up with the blog until I raise my £1,000 for Macmillan and can post photos of the end result, which will be expertly undertaken by a good friend of mine – thank you, Angela!

If all goes to plan, and it’s not looking good from a cut and paste perspective, there should be a link to my “mydonate” page.  Please, please help me raise the minimum £1,000 for which I will part with my hair!  Every £1 really will count, though a bit more would help as I know I don’t know 1,000 people!  But, seriously, even £1 will be hugely appreciated.

An obligatory happy, fun, smiley photo - with long hair six months ago

 

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