In a small barbershop in McPherson Friday, a father shaved his head to support his son.
On the same day across the country, the son's coworkers followed suit for the same reason.
All joined forces in support of a common cause — to support McPherson native Todd Billings and his battle against cancer.
Todd, a 1991 McPherson High School graduate and professor at Western Theological Seminary, was diagnosed in September with Multiple Myeloma. At the time he was in stage three of three.
Todd had struggled with a number of health problems prior to the diagnosis, the result of Myeloma, which weakens the immune system. There is no cure for the cancer, but treatments are available to increase the life expectancy of those with the condition—- stretching it one or two years up to eight.
He is scheduled for a transplant in early March in hopes to set the cancer into remission. He has had multiple doses of chemotherapy in preparation for the transplant, which has made him unable to work or even communicate at times.
But while he sits in the hospital, his coworkers at Western Theological Seminary in Michigan aren't standing idly by. At least a dozen supporters, including one woman, shaved their heads in support of Todd in what is called the Bald Guy Challenge. Included in the bunch is the seminary president and several professors and students.
The challenge also will raise more than $1,000 for research within the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
"I haven't had a shaved head in at least 50 years, and I don't really want one now, but I would do anything to signal the need to pray for this great young man," Timothy Brown, seminary president, said in a press release.
The seminary also had a prayer service for Todd.
Parents Tom and Nancy Billings said these actions speak volumes.
"I think that shows how much they love him there," Tom said.
Nancy said it not only shows how much he's appreciated, but it also shows the quality of their faith. Prayer, she said, is what they desire most.
"It gives us personal strength and support," she said. "We believe that God is the blessed controller of all things and he can bring Todd through this. We're praying for a long and deep remission."
Awaiting his remission is wife, Rachel, and children Neti and Nathaniel.
"All of us have turned to God in faith and asked that he will be given some life and time," Nancy said.
Updates of Todd's condition, updated by Todd himself, can be found by searching his name on www.carepages.com. Individuals must create a Care Pages account to view the information.
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Contact Jenae Pauls at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel