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Get Married, Go Bald

While most brides jet off on their honeymoon a day or two after their wedding, my husband and I had other plans in mind.

Less than 48 hours after we had stood on Bimini Beach and exchanged our vows, bagpipes filled the air. From the patio of our suite, we watched as the fire engine arrived with the St. Baldrick’s Honored Kids, and one by one they filed into Captain Hiram’s Sandbar.

The day was finally here.

Eight years prior I showed up to my very first St. Baldrick’s Foundation event to, what I thought was, simply photograph a fundraiser. What I did not realize was that my life would forever change that day as I simultaneously fought back tears behind my camera and documented two women go completely bald to help fight kid’s cancer.

I left thinking, “I could do that.”

I could do that turned into me becoming not only the event photographer for seven years, but also Captain of Team Live Out Loud which is dedicated to the memory of my 18-year-old sister Kellie.

I could do that also turned into one of the easiest promises I’ve ever made a year later, “You can have my hair, but you have to wait until the event after I’m married.”

Five years later, I could do that became one of the biggest pieces to the biggest moments in our lives as we started planning our wedding. We decided that not only would we shave at Captain Hiram’s that year, but after tracking down when “Shave Day” would be – we had our wedding date as well. Get married, go bald was officially on!

I had been the CALMEST of brides on the patio overlooking the Sandbar on our wedding day. The hours leading up to the shave, however, were anything but.

I wasn’t scared, I was ready. I knew I wasn’t going to miss this hair, I had never been one for long hair to begin with. But the night before going bald had been oddly reminiscent of the hours before we lost my sister, and I don’t think I was fully prepared for that feeling.

After I got out of the shower, Sean hugged me and ran his fingers through my hair, “It’s just hair, you know...but now? It’s superhero hair. It’s going on to SAVE lives.”

19” of long, purple hair was about to be buzzed off my head and the emotions were real.

The day was a blur, but as Team Live Out Loud took to the Sandbar’s stage (usually reserved for incredible live music!)  the excitement and energy left me crystal clear. The nerves were gone.

In all my years of attending and photographing St. Baldricks events I had never see a stage with quite so many people on it, and I know as I sat down in the seat myself  NO ONE had ever had so many people take the clippers to her head.

There were eight people who took swipes of my hair away that day. The ninth was Enzo, a pediatric cancer survivor, and a boy who stole my heart years ago. His family had come out to support, and Enzo was there to gift me flowers and help me go bald.

And, here’s the thing. THAT’s who we’re doing this for. It’s all for THEM, and I’ll always want more for kids like Enzo.

When the last strand was clipped, my 7-year promise to St. Baldricks was knighted. We did it! Then, I was off to take more photos and hand out free head rubs to everyone who had waited for that moment  but not before Sean could chase me down with sunscreen for my freshly bald head.

The moment was surreal, it was EVERYTHING I ever dreamed of it being, and I tried to hang on to every second of the magical experience. I knew I’d likely never have another moment exactly like this one.

As I bounced off stage, there was still a flurry of activity, and then a friend’s voice cut through the music, clippers, and cheers, “So, what’s next?”

If she had asked me an hour before, I would’ve been too numb to have had an answer  but right then and there I knew, “Oh, I’m doing this again.”

“You’ll shave again?” she seemed surprised, and quietly mentioned most women don’t repeat. I had no hesitation, “Absolutely. Every year, again and again...until they no longer need me.”

I knew, even then, that the years to follow my 2018 efforts wouldn’t be easy. They say only first time shavees make big impacts – or snag big numbers. I’ve heard “repeats” of those big numbers are tough to come by. They’re the unicorns – they require magic.

I’d be lying if my nerves didn’t think they were mostly true...but, then...I don’t think they realize how passionate and determined I am.

This was NEVER about my 19” of hair. It was NEVER about our wedding.
It was ALWAYS about fighting for these kids – and the fight hasn’t changed.

My hair still has superpowers. We can still do big things  and we should!
What’s next? Team Live Out Loud is on a mission to raise $100,000 by 2020 (my 10th year with

St. Baldricks) for children’s cancer research – and we hope you’ll join us.

We’ll be the ones celebrating our wedding anniversary, every year, right here at Captain Hiram’s – completely bald. Eventually Sean and I will get around to taking our honeymoon, but for now – we’re counting down the days until we’ll be up on the Sandbar’s stage, with the sounds of bagpipes and clippers filling the air.

Help Fight Kid’s Cancer – donate here.

Bio:

To learn more about Casie’s story, follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

asie {kay-cee; KC} Shimansky is an award-winning social media manager, recognized

photographer, and writer. Orlando based, she’s frequently found adventuring through theme

parks with her husband. They also love to spend time with their two German Shorthaired

Pointers (@PawsitivePointers). Casie is a lover of pizza, Halloween and will never pass up a

Voodoo Bucket at Hirams. She is a fierce advocate for Children's Cancer Research, having

gone BALD just two days after getting married, she raised over $26k in 2018. This year marks

her 9th year as a St. Baldrick’s Foundation volunteer.

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