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The following day I went out for a walk with my new hairdo and since it started raining I ducked into the local coffee shop. The lady behind the cash knows me and commented on my hair. I explained that I was raising money for the fight against Breast Cancer. I took my coffee and went outside to sit under the canopy. I am sitting there in a not so good area of town, unshaven, ripped pants, some dirt from gardening on my shirt and some guy comes up to me and says that he overheard that I was raising money for cancer research and unprompted just gave me money. It was so heartwarming. We got to talking and his life has been touched by cancer as have my friends and family. We shared stories and parted ways. So what began with Isabelle’s donation was starting to gain momentum but I had yet to clue in.

My hair was PINK!  It was quite bright and a bit noticeable.  When I was in public, some people were staring, pointing and giggling. It was weird. I went to the office and staff donated money.  I still had not realized what was really happening.

I started wearing a sign “Ask me why my hair is Pink” and hung it around my neck. That sign raised thousands of dollars.

- I went to the bank and was given donations.
– I went to my office benefit provider and was given donations.
– I had my teeth cleaned and the dentist gave me a donation.

I just couldn’t believe it.

- I got on the plane to go to the convention. My seatmate gave me $100!
– I got to customs and immigration. Normally they give me a hassle. On this trip they held up the line to talk to me and they gave me a donation!!
– I got to the hotel and guests, staff and even the hotel itself gave donations.
– I went to a convenience store to buy some pop. I gave them $6 to buy the pop, they gave me $10 as a donation.
– I rented a Jet Ski to go for a ride. At the end when paying I went to give the tour guide a tip. He told me to keep it as a donation.
– The very last day I was riding down in the elevator with a bald man. I ask him how often he shaves his head. (Every two or three days) and after telling him I am about to go bald and the rest of my story he gives me $20.

The support was absolutely incredible! Rich or poor, from all walks of life, the support was amazing. And I got to share stories with so many people. Some who were cancer survivors, some who were still fighting, some who donated in memory of others. I shed more than a few tears.  (My sister Jane once told me my bladder was too close to my eyes).

The night of the event was finally here. Between the four volunteers, we had already raised more than $18,000.00. I knew we would hit our goal. The evening started with a quilt that was hand made by a cancer survivor was carried around the room by two cancer survivors. The bidding went up and up and up.  It sold for $7,000! What a way to start the evening.  Many CAM-X members had donated items for the silent auction. People were bidding. The four volunteers have a final drink and got up on stage to sit in our chairs to await the dreaded clippers. Gary Pudles (or is that Poodles?) handled the microphone and worked the crowd. He is an amazing auctioneer! The bids kept increasing. The hair started flying! More bids. First one side of the room, then the other.

When all was said and done and the amounts tallied up collectively we raised an incredible $70,000.00+ for the fight against Breast Cancer!! A new record for the organization!

I am so happy to have participated in support of this worthy cause and so thankful to all the people who gave so generously.

It has been an amazing emotional ride and I will treasure the memories always.

Thank you, thank you.

In 2003 CAM-X (Canadian Call Management Association) selected the fight against Breast Cancer as their charity of choice. At the convention last year, I volunteered to shave my head as part of the 2013 fundraiser. I was pretty excited at the time, but that event seemed like a long way off. When the organizers called this year it all of a sudden became very real. “OMG I have to shave my head??” Well I rationalized, it is for a good cause, I promised, and I can’t back out now.

Normally there is a gala dinner, a silent auction, and the shaving of the volunteer(s) where thousands of dollars are raised. All good. I got to thinking about this, and if I was in for a shaving why not do more? You know, go big or go home!! With three other volunteers (Gary, Bill, Gerald) we set a combined goal of 40K and started sending out emails to ask for donations.

I vowed to dye my hair pink if we raised 5K. I wanted friends, family, staff and business associates who were not going to the convention to see me get shaved to be able to participate in this also. And wow did that milestone happened quickly!! So off to the hairdresser I go! Now I know it is a guy thing but I normally pay $15 and I am in and out of the place in fifteen minutes.Not this time!! I explained the situation to Isabelle at the local First Choice Hair Cutters and she agreed to dye me. The first thing that happened was she took me into the back into the “special” room that I had never been into. There were some other ladies there getting their hair done and I got into my chair. They bleached me so the colour would be more vibrant. I am good with that. Then she says “I’ll set the timer in ten minute increments.” Stupidly I ask “What’s up with that, aren’t we going to be done in ten minutes?” She laughs, the lady in the next chair laughs, they all laugh. So two and a half hours later I am blazing pink. First Choice donated the cut. (Not only did it take a long time it was $85!! Who knew the pain and expense that ladies have to bear?) I offered to give Isabelle a tip and she told me to donate it as her personal contribution. This was the start of my “pink” adventure.

OCTOBER 8, 2013 Mike Shantz Shaves his Head for the Fight Against Breast Cancer 
Bill Tucker, Mike Shantz, Gerald Brosseau, and Gary Blair shaved their heads in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation at the “Shave to Save” event at the Annual CAM-X annual Trade Show and Convention held in Bermuda September 24-27, 2013. The following is the personal story of Mike Shantz recounting his experience.