Sunday, December 30, 2007

Boy shaves head to support cancer-stricken cousin

Originally published December 30, 2007 in the Frederick News-Post
Link to Original Article
By Ashley Andyshak
News-Post Staff

Colin Middlebrook, a Frederick first-grader, shaved his head recently in support of his 4-year-old cousin, Henry Scheck of Hagerstown, who has cancer.

Colin Middlebrook got a Baltimore Ravens hat for Christmas.

And he'll be sure to wear it as the weather turns cold, since his hair isn't there to keep him warm.

Colin, a first-grader at Spring Ridge Elementary School, told his barber to take it all off last week in support of his cousin, 4-year-old Henry Scheck of Hagerstown. Henry was diagnosed with brain cancer in October, and he's lost most of his hair in two rounds of chemotherapy.

The haircut was all Colin's idea, his parents said. He'd wanted to shave his head before seeing Henry at Christmas, but John and Lisa Middlebrook said no.

"He kept asking, and I don't know what made me change my mind," said John Middlebrook, Henry's uncle.

Patrons at Gentlemen's Choice II barber shop in Frederick on Thursday said they admired Colin's idea and that his cousin would be proud, and relatives from across the country said the same, John said.

"People all over the place thought he was a pretty big kid to do that," he said. "And Henry's mom and dad thought it was cool."

Henry has seen the pictures of Colin's new 'do, and the cousins might see each other New Year's Day, the Middlebrooks said. However, Henry is getting ready to start a third round of chemotherapy and can't have many visitors.

Colin said a shaved head feels a lot different, but he likes his hair short. He didn't tell any of his friends or teachers about his haircut plans, so many of them will be surprised when he returns to school next week.

"He doesn't think anyone at school will recognize him," John said.

Henry's family has started a blog about his battle with cancer. They're also selling white bracelets, inscribed with "Life is Fragile, Love is Not" as reminders of Henry's challenge.

The $2 donation for each bracelet will benefit Francisco, a boy from Brazil who is sponsored through World Vision, a Christian relief organization. The sale was organized by the Glade United Church of Christ in Walkersville, and more than 200 have been sold so far, according to the site.


Anonymous said...

From a Thesaurus: Courageous - bold, brave, gallant, intrepid, stout hearted, valiant. Colin, Henry and ALL their relatives have courage and love beyond measure. Such an incredible family. I will never be the same for having known you all - I will be a better person. Thank you and God bless -

Anonymous said...

What an incredible story. Says a lot for family binds!

Happy New Year!
Cousin Susan H.

Anonymous said...

It's a good look!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! May 2008 bring good reports and happy hearts!
We Love yall,
Susan Peeples Vallotton

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly loving, giving heart Colin has to show such support for Henry. Truly a remarkable family all round that is FILLED with love! Prayers continue unabated!!!! Laura T. Kangas