Several Neosho firemen have lost a few pounds recently. But, they aren’t on a diet.
Twenty-two members of the department have shaved their heads in solidarity with the department secretary, Mari Mallory.
Mallory was diagnosed with breast cancer in February and part of her fight is taking chemotherapy. Like most people do, Mallory lost her hair.
Then, on May 15, department engineer Heath Crowder, in a spur of the moment comment, said, “We should shave our heads for Mari.”
At the time, Crowder was sitting with the men on duty at the fire station number 2 on Industrial Drive. They agreed that it was a good thing to do so, Crowder began texting his fellow firemen about it. In just two days, 22 heads were shaved.
Among those who took a razor to their heads was Fire Chief Mike Eads. Even Neosho Mayor Richard Davidson got in on the act.
Mallory, who has completed about half of her chemo treatments, was very surprised, but pleased with what the men did.
“It touched me very much,” she said. “It was a sweet thing for them to do. I just want to thank everybody for their support and for being there for me.”
Asked what the wives or girlfriends of the men thought about the shaving, Captain Roy Haskett said, “I haven’t heard of any complaints.”
Engineer Crowder said he thinks some wives asked, “You aren’t going to leave it that way, are you?”
Several men found out that their hair grows fast and they have shaved it two or more times. Maybe with summer upon us, they will keep it off until fall.
Whatever they do, 22 men did a good thing for the woman they depend on every day as they serve their community.