Janet Shepherd Kelleher’s daughter, Sarah Kelleher, was about to run out to buy some groceries for her mother, who has battled breast cancer twice in the past 15 years, when she got a phone call.
“[My mom] said she’d just bought some hair dye and electric clippers and that she wanted me to give her something fun to play with,” Sarah told BDCwire.
Besides the obvious link to breast cancer awareness, one of the reasons Janet decided to go pink was to show her support for Sweet Briar College. Janet is a 1975 alumnus of the women’s school, whose colors are pink and green. The college has recently dealt with the possibility of shutting down and, while Janet was battling to keep it open, her breast cancer returned.
“So the mohawk is really an amalgam of both of those things,” Janet says. “It seemed like the perfect idea.”
“It’s a warrior’s haircut.”
Though she’s currently in the middle of chemotherapy, Janet remains in good spirits. Her next treatment falls on her birthday, but she’s planning to bring a cake to the infusion lab and will ask friends to stop by, grab a slice and wish her well. She says there’s a constant taste of mud pies and ash trays in her mouth, yet cancer hasn’t changed her view of life.
“Once you look death in the face, your priorities change,” Janet says. “But I’ve always been a grab-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of person. Life is an adventure, and I just try to look for the fun even in the most sad and difficult circumstances. That’s what I do.”
And what’s more fun than a pink mohawk?