What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 3 days ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 3 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 3 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 12 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 13 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 21 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 21 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
2 years 23 weeks ago
More in News
Woman shaves head, raises over $11k for breast cancer
RAISING AWARENESS — Gemma and her friend Carl McDonald sport the bald head and pink shirts in an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer.
GOODBYE, HAIR — Gemma Smedberg-Goodwin gets her head shaved by her barber Ed as way to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.
OXFORD — Gemma Smedberg-Goodwin has been busy raising money – and has even shaved her head – in support of breast cancer research.
"This is the first time I've ever done anything like this," said Gemma, who is originally from Oxford, but currently resides in Branson, MO.
"I've never really felt like this before – I feel like I have a reason to do this. I feel like I've got a purpose."
Since February, Gemma has been working hard to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a three-day 60-mile walk to support breast cancer research.
The walk will take place on November 16-18 in San Diego, CA.
Gemma decided – after seeing a commercial last winter about a female cancer survivor who had completed the trek – that she would also take part in the cancer walk.
"I heard that girl say, 'I didn't think I could do it. I didn't think I could walk 60 miles,' and then I said, 'If she can do it, I can do it,'" Gemma explained.
"So, I went to work, and I told everybody: 'Alright, I am going to shave my head, and we are going to raise money for breast cancer.'"
Since that moment, Gemma said that she has managed to raise $11,324 and it is still coming in.
For her very first fundraiser, she raffled off the chance to shave her head for $20. Then, for $5, she sold chances on who could come closest to guessing her natural hair color, she said.
But Gemma isn't the only one sporting a bald head – she said that her boss and even some of her customers at Fish Tales, a Kimberling City eatery in Missouri, have also joined in by shaving their heads.
"I've had people stop me in the store," said Gemma, "whether I'm grocery shopping or just out. I had one lady ask if I was the one walking for breast cancer, and she thanked me very much, because her father just died from cancer."
"I've had a lot of people come up and ask me if I'm a survivor, and then I get into telling them all about what I'm doing," she said. "I've got a lot of support from the locals. It's amazing, actually, to think that I raised that much money in just over four months.
"It blows my mind."
As the raffle continues, each week Gemma's barber, Ed – a survivor of lung and bladder cancer – shaves her head for free, she said.
Gemma said she feels fortunate to be healthy and able to do this for others. She also hopes that her journey will assure that her two daughters and three nieces can look forward to long and healthy lives, she said.
Just in the past three weeks she said she has lost four of her close friends to cancer. "It's awful. I just can't stand it," she said. "There's nothing to do other than try to raise money for research."
Her initial goal was to raise $5,000 for the walk, which she easily accomplished within just a week or so, she said. So she bumped her goal up to $10,000, which she also easily met.
Sponsors are supporting her all the way from Maine to California and even the Philippines.
"My friends have a goal for me," she said. "They believe that I will raise $21,000 by the time I go [to the cancer walk]."
In addition to shaving her hair, Gemma is raising money through supporter donation raffles, sales of wrist bracelets that say "I love boobies" and Maine Maple Syrup raffles.
She is also selling black tee-shirts with a pink logo that says "Fighting for a Cure," which her mother Gayle Smedberg will soon be selling at Smedberg's Crystal Springs Farm in Oxford.
She is also selling raffle tickets for $10 to win a one-week stay in a two-bedroom cabin on Table Rock Lake at Harpers' Valley Resort in Kimberling – plus a pontoon rental – worth $1,091.
She also plans to sell 250 wrist bracelets that say "Walk with Me." In addition to the tee-shirts, the bracelets will be sold at Smedberg's on Route 26 in Oxford.
To donate online, please visit www.the3day.org, scroll to the bottom, click on “find a participant,” type in Gemma’s name and support her Race for the Cure. All donations go directly to the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Support has been so great that Gemma said she hasn't even needed to go out and seek the donations. "People are just bringing them to me," she said. "It's unbelievable."