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In June I was wondering what I would do to truly celebrate my sons 10th birthday. I could sit down and list all the amazing things he has done in the past; tell everyone how smart he is or maybe brag about his ability to make friends with anyone while the entire time making them feel like they are the most important person in the room. Do I sound proud? I am. But that is not what this post is truly about.

Jeffrey has many passions. One of the most important is his commitment to the American Cancer Society. Last year he helped our team of walkers raise almost $8000. He stayed and walked all night with our team and instead of being tired and complaining about how much work it was, he was excited and proud and ready to do it again. If you are one of the few people that does NOT know Jeffrey then you must understand that he has CP and “walking” is one of the most exhausting things that he does every day. He started asking the next day how soon we can start raising money for the walk again. Talk about enthusiasm.

About 2 years ago, Jeffrey discovered Locks for Love. This is an organization that collects human hair from donors and makes beautiful wigs for patients that lose their hair due to treatment. He thought this was a great thing but wasn’t sure he could be patient enough to grow out his hair as it must be at least 10 inches long. He took a long time to think about it, discuss it and really search his soul. About 5 months ago he made his decision.

He sat down in the kitchen to get a haircut and said “just cut the bangs and around the ears mom“. This was unusual as this was about the time we started to give him a buzz cut for the warmer weather. “I decided to grow it out mom. I’m going to donate it.” How could I say no?

He understands that this involves time and patience. It won’t grow over night and it’s gonna be a long hot summer. He gets it. He also knows he has the ability to make someone’s life a little better with very little effort. All he has to do is grow his amazingly beautiful blonde hair. “I can do that mom. Not once but twice.”  He says his job is easy, cancer is hard.

Am I a proud mom? You bet I am, but look what I have to be proud of. Happy Birthday my boy. I am so proud of you.

Cindy Penkoff, mom of Jeffrey Penkoff



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