On Father’s Day 2020, 9-year-old Max Gagne with over 9-inches of strawberry blonde hair sat stoically on a stool in his grandparent’s backyard. He had a promise to fulfill. As his beloved grandfather, Tom, approached with the clippers, Max’s stoic face broke and a bit of uncertainty made its way into his eyes and moved across his face.
Grandpa Tom has stage IV colorectal cancer, and Max had made a deal. The budding guitarist and musician would trade his rocker hair style to raise money that would increase awareness and screening for colon cancer in his community. He just doesn’t want another kid to watch their grandfather endure the rounds of treatment for cancer his grandfather has. “I just wanted to do it for my grandfather because he has it. I don’t want to see people have colon cancer,” Max told the Haverhill Gazette and North Andover Eagle Tribune.
Max, Grandpa Tom, Max’s dad Phil, and their entire family participated in Get Your Rear in Gear – Boston, in honor of Tom in 2019, raising over $2,500. As COVID-19 descended, Max got creative and offered to let Grandpa shave his head in exchange for donations to the Colon Cancer Coalition and Get Your Rear in Gear – Boston. After raising money through a fundraising page set up by Phil, Grandpa Tom and his wife then matched the online donations Max earned. The grand total is over $18,000.
Because of social distancing and COVID, Max’s haircut was broadcast to his family and friends via Facebook LIVE, forever capturing this unique bonding opportunity between grandson and grandfather. And cementing the memory of a buzz cut and those missing locks for many years to come.