At Backwoods Beard Company we carry ourselves on principles of honor and respect. We’ve built a community of bearded gentlemen who live by our campaign to “Beard Better” and a few months ago I had the opportunity to participate with one such gent for an amazing cause.
We are constantly flooded with headlines of upcoming superhero movies and that same theme floods T.V. programming in highly-rated weekly series. But once the cameras stop rolling, the makeup comes off, the capes and the tights are hung back up, those actors go home, the camera magic fades and then the reality returns that superheroes do not exist.
Well they do actually.
Not in the same sense that we grow up fantasizing about and role-playing as, but when Danamale Neilson reached out for my participation, I had no idea he was about to introduce me to a girl who was stronger than any character out of any comic book or film I had ever seen. Her name was Jenna, she was battling cancer, and she was a warrior.
When Jenna lost her hair due to her treatment regimen, Dan did not hesitate to find a way to comfort her. He paid a special visit to her hospital room with a pair of hair clippers, handed them over, and let Jenna shave his head. It was a subtle gesture to show support for one of his closest friends, yet it spoke volumes about his character.
When Dan found out that Jenna’s insurance wouldn’t be covering all of her medical expenses and bills that had accumulated during her hospitalization, he felt compelled to do more. With Jenna’s GoFundMe already half-way funded, Dan decided to use his epic beard for some epic good. He started planning a “beard-off” with several other beardsmen to help raise the remainder of Jenna’s GoFundMe goal. If the remainder of Jenna’s goal was met, then the beard-off would happen. The date was set for May 15th, with a silent auction scheduled to be held at Big Shotz bar in Nashville, and the beard-off to be streamed via Facebook Live. All of the shaving at the event was to be done by Master Barber, Kelvis Nash. It didn’t take long before people came together to donate the remainder of funds to hit the 10k goal.
We were honored to be a part of such an awesome display of compassion for such a courageous person. At Backwoods Beard Company, we typically wouldn't condone shaving, but for these big-hearted, big-bearded gentlemen, the decision was an easy one and it was a decision we were extremely happy to support.
Yes, Superheroes exist. Superheroes that are willing to shave off their beards without a second thought when it means benefiting someone that they love.
Yes, Superheroes exist. Beautiful and strong superheroes who don hospital gowns with shaven heads only to show the world just how big their hearts truly are, through a smile that never seems to fade, regardless of the obstacles.
To all of the individuals who came out to Big Shotz on May 15th to support Jenna, thank you. To the guys who weren’t able to make it, but shaved anyway to show their support, thank you. Superheroes do exist and your selfless acts make the world a beautiful place.
Jenna is currently in remission, fighting the road to recovery and keeping high spirits full of hope and faith.
Beard Better and Beard On!