When faced with extreme adversity, the way a person reacts greatly determines their overall character. Some people will allow adversity or a tough situation to take over their lives, whereas others will face it head on and overcome it. Then there are a select few who will not only defeat it, but use it as a way to point their lives in a new direction and help others based on their experience. This is the case of our Hometown Hero, Mr. Bob Hair.
Twenty years ago, Mr. Hair was diagnosed with prostate cancer. With treatment and time, he was able to overcome this devastating disease. But instead of letting this keep him down, Mr. Hair viewed his experience as a way to help others. Mr. Hair organized a local support group for other men diagnosed with prostate cancer in order to help them deal with their diagnosis and get them through the treatment while giving them hope and comfort. Mr. Hair has also participated in Relay for Life of Alamance County, which is an overnight walk that supports the American Cancer Society and celebrates those whose lives are touched in some way by cancer, whether it is by being a survivor, or being someone who is fighting cancer, or by being a caregiver and offering your time and support to those who are struggling with the disease.
Mr. Hair has also been a member of the Shriners in Alamance County for 30 years. For those of us who may not be familiar with the Shriners, this is an organization that was started in 1872, and since that time its members have devoted themselves to caring for the less fortunate, especially children. There are more than 575,000 Shriners comprising 191 Temples and clubs throughout the United States,Canada, Mexico and Panama. There are 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children, 18 orthopedic hospitals, three burn hospitals and one hospital that provides orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury care. These hospitals have cured or substantially helped more than 600,000 children at no cost since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922. As a Shriner, Mr. Hair has participated in many fundraising and volunteer events. Mr. Hair also provides transportation and support to children and their families who seek medical attention at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, SC.
Some of the other volunteer services Mr. Hair commits to in the Alamance County community include Allied Churches, where he can be seen serving meals on a weekly basis. Mr. Hair is also very active with Graham Presbyterian Church where he and his family have been attending church for many years.
In addition to all of his volunteer efforts and accomplishments, family is the most important part of his life. Mr. Hair has been married to his wife Billie Jean for 53 years. They have two daughters, Renee and Anne, who nominated their dad for this honor. No matter what is going on in his life, Mr. Hair always makes the time for attending his grandson’s baseball and basketball games as well as other family events.
Mr. Hair has always been his family’s hero, and now we are proud to recognize him as ours.