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Bald with a purpose makes its way into Wednesday's top sports photos

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 4:39 a.m. MDT

Chicago Bears teammates Adam Podlesh, Blake Costanzo, James Anderson, Robbie Gould, Austin Signor, Cory Brandon shaved their heads in support of 6-year-old cancer patient Gavin Waterman. Phil Zielke and members of the Waterman family also participated. (PR Newswire) Chicago Bears teammates Adam Podlesh, Blake Costanzo, James Anderson, Robbie Gould, Austin Signor, Cory Brandon shaved their heads in support of 6-year-old cancer patient Gavin Waterman. Phil Zielke and members of the Waterman family also participated. (PR Newswire)

Most of the time, going bald is a sign of old age or a fashion statement. Heck, for some people, it's a downright skill — one other people simply don't have.

For several of the Chicago Bears this week, however, it became much more.

Adam Podlesh, a punter for the Bears, was joined by several teammates when he decided to shave his head bald this week. This wasn't just a team-bonding activity. It was a decisive act of charity and support made on behalf of a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer.

Podlesh is a cancer survivor himself, having been lucky enough to see his own symptoms go into remission. Spurred by experience, Podlesh didn't wait to act after meeting Gavin Waterman.

The 6-year-old boy receives treatment hours away from his home, denying him the chance to see his two older siblings. The parents stay with Gavin often, but the emotional support has essentially crippled the financial means for Gavin's treatment, which was expensive enough to begin with.

Field guard Don Held, left, tackles a man who ran on to the field during a pitching change in the eighth inning of the Houston Astros' 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (David Zalubowski, AP) Field guard Don Held, left, tackles a man who ran on to the field during a pitching change in the eighth inning of the Houston Astros' 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (David Zalubowski, AP)

Enter Podlesh and Co., who had already raised more than $5,000 before Wednesday ended. Their goal is $10,000.

"I don't think that I would be as involved with cancer charities and events as I am now if I hadn't been diagnosed with cancer," Podlesh said on the Chicago Bears' website. "After going through remission and being cancer-free, I've really made it my purpose to try to do whatever I can to help the fight against cancer."

Including losing his hair voluntarily to help against the disease that often leaves no choice for the people it inflicts.

Matt Petersen is the Sports Web Editor for DeseretNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheMattPetersen.

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