When you hear the words “Bald for Bucks”, you probably think about shaving or cutting your hair, or the difference you’ll make for cancer patients, but do you know how this life-changing movement started?
Bald for Bucks was born out of love between a brother and sister.
Tony George was a history teacher at Lake Shore High School when his sister Cathleen was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout her difficult battle, she lost her hair. Tony felt his sister’s distress and promised her he would go bald and stay bald until her hair grew back.
When initially Tony felt helpless, he realized how much comfort it brought his sister after going Bald. It felt like the only way to connect and share his sister’s pain and he hopes it connects many other cancer patients with their loved ones.
When Cathleen lost her battle with cancer, Tony’s devotion to ending cancer continued and grew into Bald for Bucks. Tony’s students, colleagues and school community joined the mission. It all started with Tony wanting to connect with his sister. “It’s not about me. It never was about me. In order for people to be motivated to do this. It can’t be about me. It’s about the person you care about, or you yourself. The more Bald for Bucks can become personal for everyone the better it is.”
There have been many impactful moments throughout the years, but some of Tony’s favorites are the ones that greatly exhibit selflessness. “There was the time a female student Tehya Huff was participating, and her mother was so inspired she too [went Bald.] Another year, a woman battling cancer came to watch all three of her children participate. Unfortunately, she lost her battle, but I’d like to think that day is a memory they cherish.”
Tony shares his stories to encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to start today – even if it starts with registering. It’s the first important step in changing lives.
“My ultimate dream is to have all of Western New York be Bald for a spring. So when cancer patients walk out of Roswell, you can’t tell who’s the cancer patient and who’s not,” said Tony.
Bald for Bucks provides cancer patients with a better quality of life by funding innovative research and patient care programs. “I sacrifice my looks, good or not, to help identify with people who are struggling. It’s a way to show we can take care of each other.”
Bald is not only about making an impact – it’s about showing your loved ones you care. Tony was the first to do it, but he will not be the last.
“My job, as a teacher was not just teaching History but also creating young adults who contribute to society. Bald for Bucks was kind of an extension of my job.”
Tony’s lasting hope for Bald for Bucks is that it continues to bring comfort to those fighting cancer in our community.
If you want to be more like Tony, you can be. It starts with you and can grow into so much more. Pick a change and make it.