MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) – Twelve years ago, the Mountain Brook Fire Department rallied around one of their own who had just gotten some bad news. His 12-year-old son, Logan Whitehead, had been diagnosed with leukemia.
“We knew he was going to have to fight that battle,” said Lt. Eric Meyer. “We were going to fight it with him.” Whitehead explained that his mother had to quit her job to take care of him. His father became the family’s sole provider.
“I mean, as you know, medical bills suck,” Whitehead laughed.
The fire department decided to do something that would help the entire family cope. Because it was likely that Whitehead would lose his hair, the firefighters decided that they would lose their hair, too. They hosted a shave-a-thon, raising $3,000 to go toward the Whitehead family’s expenses.
This year, they decided to bring it back, donating the money that they hope to raise at the shaving event on December 6 to Camp Smile-A-Mile. It’s a charity that means a lot to Whitehead.
He attended the camp the year that he was diagnosed. He met a 10-year-old girl who was also battling leukemia named Hannah. She was diagnosed when she was just three years old. Logan and Hannah became close friends and continued to see each other at camp over the years.
“Then we started dating,” said Hannah, clutching Logan’s hand. “The rest is history.”
The couple recently got married at Camp Smile a Mile. They now have a one-year-old daughter. Initially, they had been told it wasn’t likely that they would be able to conceive, due to their cancer treatments. They are expecting their second child in March.
Logan says he always wanted to emulate his firefighter father. He was also incredibly touched by the camaraderie and the way the Mountain Brook firefighters rallied around his family during his illness.
“That’s why I became a fireman,” he explained. “That was my ultimate influence in taking that journey.”
Logan is a firefighter and paramedic with the Homewood department. Now, the Mountain Brook and Homewood departments are combining their “shaving efforts” to (hopefully) beat the $3,000 donation record set 12 years ago.
IMPORTANT AUCTION INSTRUCTIONS
~Bids will close at midnight on November 30 and donations will be collected/submitted by December 4.
The event is scheduled for Friday, December 6 from 6-9 p.m. at Tonya Jones SalonSpa (Cahaba Village).
Want to see more images from Hannah and Logan’s time as kids at Camp Smile a Mile, all the way up to the birth of their first child? Click through the gallery below!