The owner of the Springboro Barber Shop has set his sight on helping a Springboro High School football player who was recently diagnosed with AML leukemia, a young man that he doesn’t even know. Shop owner, Mark Thompson is donating $3 of each haircut through the end of October. His donations began September 27 and has taken off with a bang.
In 2004, Thompson’s life was turned upside down after his mother was diagnosed and passed away from colon cancer. His mother, a cosmetologist at JC Penney for 25 years, inspired him to become a barber. He witnessed her strength as this horrible disease overtook her. It was the hardest thing he’s had to endure. Since her death, he’s wanted to give back. He participated in a couple cancer walk/runs, but they’re normally held during his workdays.
“I’m planning on presenting the family with $3,000 at the end of the month even if I have to take the money out of my own wallet,” Thompson said. “When I heard about Mac, I knew this was something I needed to do. It hit home with me.”
Mac Reese, a Springboro football star, learned of his diagnosis after feeling weak. It was just by chance that his disease was revealed. Reese needs a bone marrow transplant at the beginning of the year. He’s currently finishing his first round of chemotherapy treatments and he’ll be starting his second round straight after, with his last in December.
“With my mom, I remember those little donations added up. I don’t know anything about Mac’s family. I don’t know if they are rich, poor or whatever, but when a family is faced with something like this, anything helps. Communities should help each other,” Thompson said. “This is the worst time in this kid’s life and I want to give something back.”
“We thank the owner of the Springboro barber Shop for his Facebook post about his donation and generosity. He sounds like a great guy,” Mac’s mother Colleen Reese said. “We’re overwhelmed and humbled by the support from the community and businesses in Springboro.”
Mac and his mother plan on meeting Thompson for a haircut after Mac’s chemo and after his hair grows back, of course. “Mac is going to Cincinnati Children’s for his bone marrow transplant, so we may get to know him more than he thinks because I want to meet his wife when we get there. It’ll be great to have new friends in the community.”
Thompson’s wife, Aimee works as an oncology nurse at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. She told her husband about Mac’s story and that’s where the spark began. A simple conversation turned into a huge gesture to human kindness.
In Thompson’s Facebook post announcing his effort to donate funds, he wrote, “Mac, if you’re well enough for a sweet haircut, it’s on me. Keep your chin up. Springboro has been good to me and I’m giving back,” Thompson said. “I plan on just handing the family this jar of cash and meeting Mac. I’ll probably post something on my Facebook page about it.”
“Throughout October, just try my shop once. That’s $3 for Mac and his family. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to come back. It’s not about getting new clients; it’s about helping a young man battle this horrible disease.”
Springboro Barber Shop requires appointments. To schedule a convenient date and time, visit www.springborobarbershop.com or call the shop at (937) 732-2044. To make a private donation, look for the glass jar on the top of the cash register. Springboro Barber Shop is located at 762 W. Central Ave. Follow this story on Facebook.