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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kustaborder


After shaving my head in 2015 and again in 2016 in the fight against childhood cancer with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, I knew I would do it again someday. I loved fundraising and wanted to do my part. Being bald was a small sacrifice to make.

2023 was the year. I awoke from a dream in February and knew it was time. This time it felt bigger and more powerful but I didn’t really know why at first.

As the commitment became real and the fundraising started, I began to delve deeper. I was reminded of something the director of my physician assistant program would always say, “Why this? Why now?”

It clicked. I knew it was the next phase of my transformation.

In 2019 my life fell apart. I was unhappy in life. I hated my job. I was in the dark grip of depression and misery and didn’t think there was any way out of it. Every day was a struggle where I was plowing through life in survival mode. I hit rock bottom. I knew I needed to make some bold moves or I wouldn’t survive.

Quitting my 6 figure job in 2021 was the first big step. I never intended to leave without a solid plan in place but I felt that I had no choice. I was numb from the repeated hits to my nervous system and the impact that decades of chronic stress and childhood trauma had caused. I was unhappy and had no joy in my life.

I dug deep and slowly began to rebuild, reshape and come alive again. I unpacked and unearthed the self that had been hidden for so long and began to blossom and grow.

The transformation had begun.

I realized that this head shaving represents so much more than hair and cancer. It is my rebirth of self. I’m letting go of ego and shedding more layers that have been holding me back. I’m tossing aside the version of myself that was so used to shrinking and hiding behind the veil of pretending that everything is ok.

With this simple act of shaving my head, I start again. I allow space for more joy and love into my life. I release more fear, shame and guilt. I give myself permission to be who I am, to be vulnerable and to face fear head on. I allow myself to be seen and stand up for myself.

This transformation holds space for new endeavors and adventures as I watch what grows from the seeds that have been planted.

I’m here to shine. To be seen. To live my purpose and passion. To feel joy and share it with the world.


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