The “Best Bald Dad” award goes to Josh Marshall after he got a tattoo in support of his son who has cancer. Josh entered a photo of him and his son in a contest held by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The “Best Bald Dad” contest is held annually and features pictures of dads who shaved their heads in support of their children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. Josh upped the ante, however, showing off more than just his bald head.
— St. Baldrick’s (@StBaldricks) June 19, 2016
There were 55 photo submissions and thousands of votes, but Josh was ultimately crowned the “Best Bald Dad.”
“Me and my son at this year’s St. Baldrick’s event in Wichita, Kansas. Got my son’s scar tattooed to help his self-confidence,” Marshall wrote as a caption to the photo he submitted to the “Best Bald Dad” contest. Check it out below.
— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 22, 2016
The “Best Bald Dad” wanted his son, Gabriel Marshall, 8, to feel less self-conscious after having brain surgery and being left with a large scar on the side of his head. According to ABC News, Josh Marshall got the tattoo in August, hoping to make his son feel better about the scar.
“My son was very self-conscious after he got his surgery. He felt like a monster. I said, ‘You know what, I’ll get your scar tattooed. That way, if people want to stare at you, then they can stare at both of us.’ I never intended for it to be this big. It was just a friendly competition between fellow cancer dads and people showing support for their loved ones who have fought cancer. It’s amazing. I’m glad that I can kind of spread awareness for the childhood cancer community,” Marshall said after winning the “Best Bald Dad” contest.
The “Best Bald Dad” has been very supporting of his son, who was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare form of brain cancer, in March 2015. According to the National Organization For Rare Disorders (NORD), the cause of these rare malignant brain tumors is unknown.
“Astrocytomas are tumors that develop from certain star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes. Astrocytes and similar cells form tissue that surrounds and protects other nerve cells found within the brain and spinal cord. Collectively, these cells are known as glial cells and the tissue they form is known as glial tissue. Tumors that arise from glial tissue, including astrocytomas, are collectively referred to as gliomas. The symptoms of anaplastic astrocytomas vary depending upon the specific location and size of the tumor.”
The “Best Bald Dad” and his son are staying positive. Gabriel’s tumor is smaller following his surgery, but it hasn’t gone away completely. The good news? The tumor hasn’t gotten any larger. According to ABC News, Gabriel has scans once every three months to check on the tumor and to make sure that the cancer is at bay — and that it hasn’t spread. He is scheduled for an MRI next week.
Gabriel loves having the “Best Bald Dad” and often tells people that he and his dad are like twins. This is definitely something really special that Josh Marshall did for his son and he deserves all of the recognition that he’s getting.
[Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images]