I came across The Turning Heads Project through a story in the local newspaper a few weeks ago. Timing is always an interesting thing in our lives, and the day the article ran was the same day I decided that the hair I hadn’t already lost needed to be shaved off. It was a difficult day for me, not that losing my hair was going to be that hard, but the reality that I was normal, like every other cancer patient undergoing chemo, losing my hair, was a hard thing to get comfortable with.
I see the cancer patients every time I walk into the Comprehensive Cancer Center for my chemo therapy treatment(s), I know we are not just men, or just women. There are too many of both to go around. But we all likely feel the same emotional tugs when dealing with our cancers.
I got the chance to share my cancer story with four ladies who have made it a part of their lives to enable cancer patients to feel warm and positive about the effects of chemo and the loss of one’s hair (not that I had a lot to lose in the first place I know). I looked up this website and was immediately struck by the power of commitment the project has to making cancer victims feel less like a patient and more like the pre-cancer person they remembered. What was missing to me though was remembering that men go through the same emotions when facing cancer as women. Turning Heads had shot 25 of what they call “Super Models” (and rightfully so) with only one man in the group.
From the moment I first saw the story about the Turning Heads Project and talking with Debbie Green, I knew that her mission to make cancer patients feel alive while undergoing their treatments was something that was important and that I hoped I could be a part of. Fortunately for me, that goal was realized when I got to be one of the Turning Heads Project’s “Super Models”. Super is the right word too, as I felt Debbie, Stacy, Olga and Ellen cared about the person in the shoot, not the cancer patient in the shoot. We laughed, hugged, and came to enjoy every aspect of the three-hour session. They even got my wife Autumn to get caught up in the fun of the afternoon, which made the event even more special. Their mission is simple; to enrich the lives of cancer patients and they do their work with grace and caring. It takes special people to give so unselfishly to others – and these ladies are special, believe me. They enrich your life and give you something cancer can’t take away, the feeling of joy, sharing and being just like you were before cancer. It was a day I will remember forever and being able to be a part of their work made me feel truly special, for which I will be forever grateful.
The sun came up yesterday, I was vertical and it was a really great day.The sun is coming up now this morning, I’m upright and today too will be a good if not great day.
Photography by Stacy Jacob Photography, Makeup by Olga Morales, Styling by Debbie Green
Men’s Fashions by Will Stiles, Palm Springs