150 firefighters show support for 11-year-old boy, family by shaving heads

The event started when the boy’s father, who worked as a firefighter, passed away from cancer in 2017.


Mason Anderson is too young to be a firefighter, but at 11 years old, he is already doing his part to help people by starting a fundraiser called Brave the Shave.

It’s been a tough couple of years for him, but he said he tried to "turn something negative into a positive."

Mason's dad, Tim Anderson, who worked for the fire department at the Sacramento International Airport, passed away from cancer in 2017. Then, the young boy got the news that his mom, Lacey Anderson, had breast cancer.

“Last year, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I went through treatment, five months of chemotherapy, double mastectomy,” said Lacey Anderson, who is now cancer free after a year of treatment.

Last year, Mason shaved his head to support his mom, who had lost her hair during chemo.

“When I found out that she had to lose her hair and go through all of this -- I didn't want her to have to go through it alone. So I decided I would shave my head with her," Mason said.

He got 150 firefighters to do the same.

This year, Mason had the idea to continue Brave the Shave by making it a fundraiser for firefighters affected by cancer. The money raised will help Sacramento-area firefighters and their families who have cancer.

“This year, it is not about me. This year, it's about firefighters and cancer and how we can help them be more aware of the risks of that they are facing,” said Lacey Anderson.

Firefighter Robert Anthony was best friends with Mason's dad. On Sunday, he shaved his head and said he was amazed by Mason's determination to help others during his time of grief.

"Us as firefighters, most of the time we are the ones that are out there trying to fix somebody's bad day and make it better. And here is an 11-year-old boy doing that for us firefighters. It's a huge step for him. I'm very proud of him,” Anthony said.

Mason said he can feel his dad smiling down on him for his effort to help others fight and prevent cancer.

“A lot of people can come into this and focus on the challenges and the obstacles. Instead of that, Mason is able to see how we can make something fun,” Anderson said.

It’s not just local firefighters shaving their heads. For Mason's charity, firefighters in Boston, Texas and Oregon have all agreed to do the same.