07/31/2014 10:26 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'46 Mommas' Shave Their Heads For Cancer Research, Show Us What Bravery Really Looks Like

46 Mommas/Connor Sumner

These woman show us that bald isn't just beautiful, it's also brave.

Last Saturday, for the fifth year in a row, 46 mothers of children who have been diagnosed with cancer gathered to shave their heads and raise money for cancer research. This year, the 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave event -- named to represent the 46 mothers across the United States who are told each weekday that their child has cancer -- was held in Boston and raised more than $200,000 for St. Baldrick's Foundation, an organization which funds pediatric cancer research grants.

shave mommas1

"There is this kind of rebelliousness to it. It's like, 'take that chemotherapy. I don't have to have you to be bald,'" Annika Knudsen, a cancer survivor and daughter of one of the "Mommas" told WPTV5 of the symbolism behind the shaving.

pink hair momma

The fundraiser was a powerful event, which, in addition to raising awareness, aimed to provide comfort to the mothers.

“I thought I was going to turn into an emotional wreck while my head was being shaved. But instead, I felt very free and happy and empowered," Leslie Jermainne, a mother who participated in this year's event told the Shoreline Times.
"It was like taking control away from cancer. It was an amazing event and to meet so many other mothers who understand and have endured what I have was very healing."

Since 2010, the 46 Mommas have raised a total of almost $1.5 million for St. Baldrick's Foundation, according to the organization's website.

2014 46 mommas poster

Many of the participants have said that "going bald" has really paid off, and want to continue their work in the future.

"I feel proud to raise money ... to help find safer, less toxic treatments for our children until I hope one day they can find a cure," Jermainne told the Shoreline Times.

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