Cancer is serious business, but when 62-year-old Janet Sheppard Kelleher found out that the breast cancer she kicked in 2001 had returned 14 years later, first thing was first: She went parasailing, and then asked her daughter to give her a wild hairstyle before she lost her hair to chemo. Her daughter Sarah, the stylist behind this creation, delivered with the most badass pink mohawk of all time. Sarah has since shared the photos to Reddit under the username borrow_a_feeling, and she says the positive response has been overwhelming.
The truth is, though, that the hair accounts for only about 2% of Keheller's overall badassery—seriously, this woman's attitude is about to become your new #LifeGoals. In her first battle with cancer, she celebrated her hair by working it into intricate braids, and then cutting them off as mementos for her loved ones. In fact, she claims that losing her hair is one of the "fun parts" of cancer, and daughter Sarah remarks that she got a kick out of removing her wig to freak out strangers in public. This was probably one of many inspirations behind the book that she published about her experience, "Big C, Little Ta Ta: Kicking Breast Cancer's Butt in 7 Humorous Stories".
When she's not busy publishing books and giving us all hair envy, Keheller lives life to the fullest by taking her family on adventures zip lining, hot air ballooning, and scuba diving. She recently fought to keep her alma mater the women's college Sweet Briar from shutting down, and won. This is a woman who doesn't back down easily, so if you ask me, cancer should be pretty freaking scared of her right now.
Here is Keheller pre-haircut:
And here she is after Sarah worked her magic:
"The mohawk was mom's idea. No convincing needed," Sarah shared with Bustle. "She called me one morning and asked me to come over and she had the hair dye and clippers ready to go. I never cut hair before this."
For someone who has never cut hair before, DAMN, Sarah. Time to start a side business.
This time around, Keheller is facing chemotherapy followed by a double mastectomy to treat invasive lobular carcinoma, a form of breast cancer. Although it has been a difficult time for the entire family, Sarah says that they have all been touched by the overwhelming responses from people on Reddit and Imgur who offered messages of support, shared their own experiences with cancer, and even reached out to send care packages.
"Mom said that she and my dad 'mixed a scoop of real coffee in with the decaf' and stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading all the comments on Reddit and Imgur," shared Sarah. "Dad said watching the comments come in was like watching election results come in."
The upcoming months will surely be a challenge for the Keheller family, but Sarah says they are comforted by the fact that cancer treatments have evolved a lot since their last round in the ring. "Mom's advice is look for ways to have fun in a bad situation," says Sarah. If these badass pictures are any indication, she's already doing just that and then some.
Images: Courtesy of Sarah Keheller