WARRENSBURG — Following her husband’s cancer diagnosis, Amber Patterson worked with her coworkers at Serenity Salon and Spa to organize Cut for a Cause on Saturday, Oct. 5, where a fundraiser was held for the Pattersons before Amber followed through on a fundraising goal to shave her head.
Bradley Patterson had been diagnosed with a grade one Ependymoma brain tumor and has undergone three surgeries and is currently going through radiation and physical therapy.
During Bradley’s treatment, he has been unable to work which prompted Amber, her boss and various coworkers to come up with the idea to hold a cut-a-thon and a raffle as fundraisers to help the family’s financial situation.
“I have quite a few clients in the Johnson County area that are very crafty, so they were able to make items that they donated for us to raffle off,” Amber said.
During the cut-a-thon, those who paid a minimum $20 donation received a haircut from the Serenity Salon and Spa staff.
In addition to the fundraisers aimed to help the financial situation of her family, Amber started a separate fundraiser in order to raise money for the Johnson County Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that was formed to assist the residents of Johnson County in need of financial support due to the toll cancer can have.
“They were the first organization that reached out to help us in our financial burden,” Amber said.
Through the fundraiser, Amber pledged to shave her head if donations towards the JCCF reached the $2,000 goal that she set.
“I wanted to try to give back to them any way I could,” Amber said. “We couldn’t do it financially at the moment, but my hair is free.”
Since the fundraiser started on Sept. 8, more than 55 people donated to the cause, reaching $2,080.
“People from the county and even people out of state donated to JCCF in return for me shaving my head,” Amber said.
Amber expressed she was a bit nervous about shaving her head, but said that “bald is beautiful” before she and Bradley laughed, saying that their heads would soon match.
Following the cut-a-thon, during which Amber took part in cutting donors’ hair, she thanked everyone for coming to support both her family and the JCCF and then took a seat in the barber’s chair herself.
Amber let a number of people take part in shaving her head, with the first being Debbie Sutton, one of the donors that was drawn to do the first cut.
She was followed by Brynn McCartney, a survivor of an Ependymoma brain tumor, like her husband.
Amber had her coworkers take turns finishing the haircut until her head was completely shaved.
“It means the world to me that everyone came out to support us,” Bradley said.