Each year around St. Patrick's Day, the St. Baldrick's Foundation hosts fundraisers across the U.S. in which people volunteer to shave their heads to raise money for childhood cancer research. Several doctors, nurses and other staff members at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta committed to shaving their heads this past weekend and raised over $50,000 for the cause, which touches their lives on a daily basis.
One particular volunteer -- a pediatric oncology nurse named Christie Powell -- wrote a moving essay about her decision to participate in the shave this year and a patient who continues to inspire her, even years after his passing. Titled "Going Bald: My Patients Don’t Have a Choice, But I Do," the essay describes Powell's experience treating kids with cancer and watching them deal with the loss of their hair -- "a badge nobody wants to wear; a constant reminder of the battle at hand."
"Nine thousand," she writes. "In the 23 years I’ve been a pediatric oncology nurse, that’s how many kids I’ve seen diagnosed with cancer." Powell's story is a testament to the powerful and heart-wrenching work that doctors and nurses in pediatric oncology dedicate their lives to.
Keep scrolling to see Christie Powell and other Children's Healthcare Of Atlanta staff members on the day of the St. Baldrick's fundraiser this year.