Child Life Specialists Shave Their Heads For Stratford Infant With Cancer

By: Elizabeth Schilder Email
By: Elizabeth Schilder Email

Lindsey Welch and Nicole Austin are learning bald is beautiful.

"The reason I shaved my head was to be in solidarity with kids with cancer," Austin told NewsChannel 7.

The duo work as Child Life Specialists at Ministry St. Jospeh's Children's Hospital in Marshfield. Both work closely with nine month old Treyden Kurtzweil and his family. Kurtzweil has spent the last seven months in and out of the hospital as he battles a rare form of leukemia. A struggle the girls said inspired them do go bald.

"Watching them go through that and know that the typical chemo won't work for what he needs, he needs an experimental procedure and knowing funds have to come from somewhere," Welch struggled to explain the decision to go bald.

The girls both shaved their heads for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.

"I really felt like in order to raise awareness to childhood cancer and letting people know that this is an important thing, these are the children of our future and in order to help save their lives and bring awareness to it, I decided I wanted to shave my head," Welch explained.

"When Lindsey asked us if she could do it for him, I just got teary eyed right away to see that he has touched someone-- to see that he's touched someone that's not family and I know that he's touched many people out there," Treyden's mom, Cassie Kurtzweil, said of Welch and Austin's gesture.

It's their love for Treyden and all their patients that gave Austin and Welch the strength they needed.

"To have that buzzer going so close to your ear and to have that cool breeze down neck or to have people looking at you and not really understanding why or what it is that you had done for a reason, it's a huge ball of emotion," Austin described the feeling of having her precious locks shaved. "You can't even really pin point it," she added.

"Hair to girls is a big deal and to see that she was willing to do that for him... We need these grants because if he didn't have, if Marshfield didn't have grants, that's all he's been on is clinical trials and we wouldn't have our little boy here with us today," Kurtzweil told NewsChannel 7.

But according to both Welch and Austin, the sacrifice was well worth it.

"Hair grows back," Austin joked.

This was Austin's second time shaving her head for childhood cancer. She told NewsChannel 7 she would gladly do it again. This was Welch's first time and although she says she feels good about her decision to go bald, she's not sure she'll be in another barber chair anytime soon.


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