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Family Sheds Hair to Welcome Cancer Victim Home

July 19, 1985

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ When Manuel Garcia returned home from the hospital, his head shaved because of hair loss from cancer treatments, he found an array of shiny pates waiting to greet him.

Garcia’s family said at least 50 relatives and friends shaved their heads as a way of making Garcia feel like one of the crowd.

The special tributes began Sunday. Garcia said he was in the Milwaukee County Medical Complex that day when four visitors walked in.

″All I could see was baldheaded people,″ Garcia said.

He started laughing. His friends started laughing. The nurses finally had to tell them all to keep quiet.

One of those who gave up locks to help make Garcia feel better was his 5- year-old son, Miguel, who told his father he allowed his head to be shaved ″because I love you.″

Garcia, 39, who suffers from stomach cancer, told Milwaukee Sentinel columnist William Janz that because he was losing hair as a side effect of cancer treatments, he decided to shave his head when he left the hospital.

Garcia said he thought he would be alone with his baldness and his cancer fight.

″It makes me feel so good, so many people backing me up,″ he said.

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