Local News

Heads Up! Firefighters Go Bald in Support of Sick Friend

Posted January 29, 2001

— While lots of men would do anything for a full head of hair, some firefighters in Rocky Mount are choosing smooth scalps in a show of support for a brother in need.

Hair has been hitting the floor at Station #6 since Rocky Mount fire engineer Travis Mayo learned he has cancer for the second time.

"They said 'Travis, when you lose your hair, we're going to lose ours,' and sure enough, when my hair started falling out and I decided to go ahead and shave my head, they were right behind me, lined up in chairs and the whole crew got it at one time," says Mayo.

The firefighters say they will not stop shaving their heads until Mayo's treatments are done in the spring.

"I lost a sister this past year, I had a brother who's also had cancer. He's a survivor, my wife is a survivor," says Capt. Dennis Joyner. "So, it meant a lot to me, and I just came up with the idea about some support for Travis and shave our heads and these guys took it serious."

"We've saving a whole lot of money on shampoo and you don't have to carry your brush with you to the bathroom in the morning," jokes firefighter Allen Dunavan. "It was different at first, but it's kind of growing on me."

"It makes us feel really good, knowing that it's not just family that's behind us. All of our friends are, too," says Mayo's wife, Kristy.

Even with a tough road ahead, Mayo has advice for other cancer patients.

"Maintain a sense of humor and laughter about it, because laughter and humor gets your through most of your battle.I hope everybody can do that."

The men of Station #6 say they have no problem with their hair loss, but say their helmets fit a bit funny.

Travis Mayo hopes to return to full duty in May.

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