How far would you go to raise awareness for a cancer cure? One Lake Charles woman has decided to go bald - by choice - for children with cancer that do not have that choice.
If you cross 38-year-old Angela Stodder's path, no doubt you will see a smile and a button on her shirt stating, "Ask me why I'm bald."
Stodder says she hopes this button and her newly bald head will create an opportunity for a conversation. "Of course I was worried about what are people going to think," she said, "are they going to look at me funny? But that's one of the reasons that we do it, so that they will ask questions and it will be a conversation starter."
Stodder does not have kids, but is an "honorary momma" as part of "46 Mommas," a fundraising team with St. Baldrick's Foundation for childhood cancer research. "St. Baldrick's focuses on making safer treatments and the main goal is for cures," said Stodder.
Childhood cancer is close to Stodder's heart. She has lost a cousin, recently had another young family member diagnosed and dealt with the loss of a close friend's child to cancer. "He passed away in such a short amount of time," said Stodder, "and I realized I need to do more. I can shave my head and go home, but that wasn't enough."
Stodder shaved her head two years ago when five-year-old Garit Morrison passed away. Feeling like that was not enough, she turned to the collective fundraising effort with St. Baldrick's, shaving her head again with other "mommas" from across America and Canada in San Antonio. "We actually surpassed the $1 million fundraising goal this year while I was on the team, so I was very proud to do that," she said.
The 46 Mommas team represents the 46 mommas that receive news each day that their child has cancer. Stodder met many of those moms that are now bravely bald. "It makes such an impact on you," said Stodder, "I'll never forget these people and I'm not going to stop. This wasn't just a one time deal for me."
Now with two head shaves down, Stodder says her future baldness is a guarantee as she works to conquer childhood cancers. "It's almost overwhelming, but at the same time it gives you the energy to want to get out there and do more," she said.
To find out how you can shave your head for childhood cancer, click here.
You can help Angela Stodder raise more money for St. Baldrick's Foundation by clicking here or checking out her free carwash Sunday from 11:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. at 720 West McNeese Street in Lake Charles.
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