Cathleen Lundgren

Cathleen Lundgren

Trying to cut childhood cancer

Sitting on her couch in her home office, Ladysmith resident Cathleen Lundgren keeps touching her hair.

Freshly washed, long and dark, her hair makes a statement — but that statement is about to change.

Lundgren is shearing her long locks for childhood cancer research through the charity, Balding for Dollars.

“It’s a project that hits home for people.”

She’s already raised $1,200 — in just three days.

“Maybe some just want to see me shave my head,” she said with a laugh.

Balding for Dollars raises community awareness for childhood cancer and blood disorders, provides funding for the BC Children’s Hospital and supports families.

Lundgren was good friends with a young Vancouver singer who recently died from cancer, Megan McNeil.

“I told her she could shave my head at the next Balding for Dollars,” Lundgren said. “Unfortunately she didn’t make it, but I’m going forward with it.”

McNeil died at the age of 20 on Jan. 28.

Lundgren worked with McNeil for three years, including on McNeil’s song “The Will to Survive”.

The song was named by CBC as the most inspirational song of the year and it also raises money for cancer research.

Lundgren, and her partner, Ladysmith crooner Ryan McMahon, also did the recording of the video — a lot of which was filmed right here in Ladysmith.

“Ladysmith has been a huge part of Megan’s story,” she said.

Shot in July 2010, the video included the Ladysmith RCMP, firefighters from Ladysmith, North Oyster and North Cowichan, employees at In the Beantime, the Sportsman Pub and two cancer survivors, Bob and Phyllis Timothy.

A mother of three, Lundgren said she hopes her actions will prove a poignant message to her children.

“I hope to teach them to be empathetic and help others.”

She said she knows she’s lucky.

“Our kids are healthy,” she said. “But it shouldn’t have to take having a sick kid to support a sick kid.”

Lundgren said people shaving and donating hair to make a wig is really important for cancer fighters.

“Megan used to say the days she wore wigs was the days she didn’t have cancer,” Lundgren said. “There were no sad eyes looking at her.”

Months still until she goes under the shearers, Lundgren said she’s looking forward to chopping it off to help someone who doesn’t have a choice.

“I’ve been told it’s scary walking into it, but then you get a feel of freedom,” she said of losing her tresses.

So what is she doing to prepare for the big shave?

“I’ve been told to bring a good hand cream because it gets itchy very fast,” she laughed.

The 12th annual Balding for Dollars is Saturday, May 7 at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Last year’s event raised $50,000 and Lundgren’s goal is $5,000.

“And if I reach that then I’m going to go for $10,000.”

For those interested in donating to the cause Lundgren’s name can be searched on the website, www.baldingfordollars.com.

Just Posted

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Most Read