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Mark Shurtleff's sons shave heads to support him through cancer treatment

Mark Shurtleff's sons shave heads to support him through cancer treatment


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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is undergoing chemotherapy to treat his colon cancer, and some members of his family want him to see that he's not going through it alone.


I figured it was something I could do (to show my support). He doesn't have to go through it all alone.

–Heath Shurtleff


A common side effect from taking chemotherapy drugs is hair loss, and Shurtleff hasn't been immune. That's why his sons Heath and Tommy Shurtleff and son-in-law Nat Gardner chose to shave their heads Sunday in Shurtleff's Salt Lake City backyard.

"I figured it was something I could do (to show my support)," Heath Shurtleff said. "He doesn't have to go through it all alone."

He said he's never had such a short buzz before. "I actually really liked my hair," he said.

Brother Tommy was "apprehensive" when Heath Shurtleff approached him with the idea.

"He's still in high school, and image is everything," Heath Shurtleff said.

Despite the chemotherapy treatments that began earlier this year, the attorney general has tried to maintain his regular schedule as best he can. His appointments this week include a Passover Seder in Salt Lake, an interview with KUER, and a meeting with newly elected Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan.

"I think he's been doing an extraordinary job just with staying positive," Heath Shurtleff said. "He's definitely not letting (chemotherapy) get the best of him."

He said his dad was "touched" by his sons' gesture.

"He kept telling me the whole time I didn’t have to."

Email:averzello@ksl.com

Photos

Amanda Verzello

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