G.I. Jane-ing it

d’Ann Briones

Photo by Bryce Benson

This month activists and survivors around the world raise awareness for childhood, gynecological, ovarian, prostate and thyroid cancers, as well as leukemia and lymphoma. In October, people raise awareness and earn money for breast cancer research. In November the cancer being fought is of the lung. One of the activists involved in the fight is d’Ann Briones of Chico. On Sept. 29, she will ride in her third Livestrong Challenge in Portland, Ore. When both her grandmother and godfather were diagnosed with cancer in 2005, she started what has now become an annual event for her. This year, though, she hopes to spice it up and her plan involves scissors and 1,000 bucks.

You’ve ridden in the Livestrong Challenge twice. What is it like?

The first time I met Baxter. We rode in the same lane together for 32 miles. We talked and got to know each other. He’s from Utah, so we don’t see each other that often. He has leukemia, and I’ve made a pact to ride with him every year until he dies. His name is Michael Baxter, but he goes by Baxter, and he’s an incredible guy. Last year he rode with a broken foot for 40 miles, big boot on his leg and all.

So, what’s your plan this year?

What I want to do is cut my hair off if someone donates $1,000 to the Livestrong Foundation, and I will donate my 15 inches of hair to Locks of Love.

I’ll assume that Lance leads the ride.

I’ve met him a couple of times. It’s great that he’s out there, and everyone out there gets happy to see him. He will ride 100 miles and by the time he’s done we are finishing the 40-mile ride.

So if someone donates a grand to the Livestrong Foundation you will cut off all your hair?

If someone donates a $1,000, I’ll G.I. Jane it. I’ll shave my head as a statement to show what some people go through. I have no idea what that’s like, and neither do most people.

Who will you get to cut off all your hair?

I have a friend who is a hairdresser. She had a brain tumor and lost her hair. It’s something that made her self-conscious.

What about you, are you going to be self-conscious if someone steps up and you have to say goodbye to your hair?

I’m a little nervous about it. I’ve had my long hair for three years, and I haven’t had short hair since the Navy in ‘88.

Donations can be made online at http://portland07.livestrong.org/dBriones