Bryan Sturge’s daughter, Zoey, died of cancer in 2013. The young girl passed away before her wish of going to Disney World and swimming with dolphins could be granted by the Make-A-Wish foundation.
To honor her memory, Brian began growing his beard and didn’t cut the memorial for over two years. This year, he entered the competition for his daughter and to raise money for Make-A-Wish.
In October of 2013 I lost my best friend Zoey to cancer. She was more than just my friend, she was my 11 yr. old daughter. When I found out Zoey was sick I made a promise to her that I would not shave until she was cancer free. Once the news was broke to me that there was no cure for her, I asked her if she would like me to shave so she could see my face again. Her reply was “no, not until I’m free”. I was so proud of her, the fight she gave and the heart she had to make me keep my promise. Make-A-Wish Vermont granted Zoey her wish but sadly she passed before it was able to come true. I did shave, because of the promise we made and now I grow my beard in her memory. So please join me and help make every child’s wish come true by donating to this great fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Vermont.
Sturge won the 2017 backwoods competition.
Brian entered the competition to give back to Make-a-Wish so that “other children can be granted wishes that Zoey never got to experience.”
“It’s a promise that we made. It’s love. It’s a memory. It’s how she last saw me, with a beard,” Sturge said. “She didn’t want me to shave it because of our promise. I offered to shave for her so she could see me without it. She said `no, that’s not the deal.”‘
Brian not only won but he raised almost $2,400 for the cause.