WARREN – It didn’t take Neta Taylor-Post long to notice that people were treating her a bit differently.
It was late July, and the 38-year-old Warren resident had just returned from Hollywood, Calif., where she had her thick head of brown hair shaved off to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The foundation seeks to fund research into finding a cure for childhood cancer, and she’d raised $2,545 over the previous several weeks to have the honor of giving up her hair. Now back in Warren and at her job at the Greater Providence YMCA, she was keenly aware that people were noticing.
“I noticed a couple of people staring,” said Mrs. Taylor-Post, who has a healthy eight-year-old, Jack. “So I would think, ‘Why is that person staring at me?’ But I’d forgotten I had no hair!”
Kids who are facing cancer, though, live with those stares, and not by choice. That’s why she headed to Hollywood for St. Baldrick’s annual “46 Mommas: Shave for the Brave” fund-raiser last month, she said.
“At every opportunity, I’m telling people that kids don’t have the choice. I did,” she said. “There’s so much need for research, so much need for help. That’s why I did it.”
Childhood cancer has not touched Mrs. Taylor-Post’s family personally, but she became involved in St. Baldrick’s as she worked at the YMCA to establish a LiveStrong program for kids with the disease.
There, she met a mother and daughter, Rebecca Ham and Grace Carey, who were involved. When she found out about the shave fund-raiser, she jumped at the chance. For weeks prior to the shaving, she cut her hair several times, each time making it a bit shorter to prepare her family, son Jack and husband John Post, for the eventual bald head. In Hollywood, Jack and Grace actually did some of the honors, helping to shave her head with an electric razor.
Her first thought, post-shave?
“I thought, ‘It feels like Velcro.’ Now I say it feels like velvet. It’s pretty interesting too because I’ve always colored my hair; I’m going to let it grow in naturally and see what color it actually is.”
Mrs. Taylor-Post had hoped to raise $3,000 for St. Baldrick’s, and she’s still soliciting donations toward the cause. If you’d like to donate, or you want to learn more about the foundation, log on to her donation page. Or you can send her an e-mail at [email protected]