By Jeff Ray

DENTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – If you run into a Denton firefighter over the next couple of weeks, compliment them on their hair….or the lack of it.

Almost half the department shaved their heads today to show support for a fellow firefighter battling cancer.

Mike Bell is first and foremost a Denton firefighter and paramedic. He’s been one for 19 years. He’s spent the last year of it battling brain cancer.

“You don’t get a better brotherhood than the fire department. These guys are great,” Bell told CBS 11 News just before he took a razor to his friends.

Mike and his wife Cindy are struggling to cover all the medical expenses not covered completely by his insurance.  It’s a bill that goes into the tens of thousands of dollars. His fellow fire fighters decided to help by following his look.

Bell lost his hair back in January from the first chemotherapy. He just finished his fourth round. There have already been four surgeries.

Shane Roberts, a fellow paramedic organized the event.

“So I sent out an email, ‘Say hey guys what do you think about trying to come up with a fundraiser?  You know maybe we all shave our heads or something silly like that.”

Such a silly idea that at first only about five firefighters agreed to do it, as long as someone else bet some money that they wouldn’t.

Before the flurry of emails finished, the betting had raised more than three thousand dollars. More than fifty firefighters got a free haircut today.

“Probably thought about it for 24 hours…you know…can’t really be separate. So, just to show unity,” said Deputy Chief Ben Hedges while he calmly watched his moderate- length black hair hit the fire station floor. The fire chief also took on the bald look today.

And it wasn’t just the firemen. It was also the firewomen.

(credit: CBS 11 News/Jeff Ray)

Carey McAdoo is a nine-year veteran paramedic in the department and a good friend of bells.  “I had a thought that I could raise a little extra money if I put it on the table that I would shave my head too with one of guys, and that’s what we did.”

McAddo demanded one thousand dollars to shave her shoulder-length sandy-blonde hair. Within minutes of her challenge one of the firefighters pledged the entire amount. So this morning McAddo joined the boys in the new  ‘look like mike’ hair style.  So what is her fashion strategy for the upcoming holiday party season?

“Lots of pride. And maybe a few hats” laughed McAdoo.

They wear the same uniform and now sport the same haircut.  Almost an entire fire department proudly displayed its support for a fellow firefighter’s biggest fight. Brothers…and sisters…in bald.

If you would like to help Mike Bell, you can drop off a donation at the Aubrey branch of the Denton Area Teachers Credit Union.

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