West Texas 2-year-old facing cancer puts on brave face for big haircut

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 10:25 PM

DALLAS -- The Saturday morning haircut experience can be an ordeal. The traffic, the long waits, the weekend to-do list.

But for a few minutes this past Saturday morning, at one barber shop on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas, those troubles disappeared when a father and his little boy walked in.

A Brownies Barber Shop haircut on a Saturday morning usually means take a number, and a seat. Last Saturday, however, patience was a pleasure when 2-year-old Beau Birdwell and his dad, Blake, a cattle rancher from Muleshoe, Texas, wandered in.

Immediately, everyone waiting in line agreed to let father and son leapfrog the line and head straight to the big chair.

Little Beau has had one cut before, but this one will be different.

Nothing traditional, nothing exotic. In fact, his mom, Elaine, adores Beau's baby blonde locks and would love to see them stay. Yet his father told barber Ray Vasquez he wants Beau's hair cut short.

"As short as you want to make it," Birdwell, a TCU alumnus, told his son.

And without hesitation Ray pulled out the big gun, his electric razor, and started mowing it down. All those beautiful locks soon were gone.

"Mommy's going to be real proud of you,” Birdwell told his son. “She's not going to recognize you, you little cue ball."

Strange as it sounds, Mommy will be proud and give Daddy a big hug. Because what Beau does not lose with dignity today, chemotherapy will claim in a matter of days.

You see, Beau has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer -- Stage 4 RMS. His fight will be rougher than a wild stallion ride.

Treatments started last week and could take up to a year to complete.

“He did great in his first round of chemo,” Birdwell said. “He's a brave little boy. The nurses just love us, don't they, Beau?”

Beau grinned.

And what's not to love? A patient little patient who handles his new look with grace.

“Who’s that handsome little boy?” the barber asked, as he held a mirror up so Beau can see the new him.

That handsome little boy is Beau Birdwell, and you have got to believe that if anyone can brush off adversity and kiss cancer goodbye, it's this little West Texas cowboy.

The Birdwells are seeking treatment at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. For more information about his treatment and the tough times facing him and his parents and how to help, go to their Crowdtilt page at this link.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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