July 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM ET
Former president George H.W. Bush shaving his head in solidarity with a 2-year-old leukemia patient "doesn't surprise" his granddaughter.
“He really is the cutest man in the entire world,’’ TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager said in a phone interview on the show Thursday.
Bush, 89, went bald in support of a 2-year-old boy named Patrick, who is the son of a Secret Service agent. The boy's dad, Jon, is part of Bush’s security detail in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Their last names were withheld at the family’s request.) Other members of the security detail have also shaved their heads in support, and a website, Patrick’s Pals, has been set up to raise funds for his treatment.
The photo has gone viral.
“The support (Bush) shows to everybody he meets — the people that he works with are lucky,’’ Hager said. “I’m his granddaughter, and I feel especially lucky.”
Hager also tweeted out her feelings for her beloved grandfather.
Bush and his wife, Barbara, are well aware of the fight against leukemia, as they lost their second child, Robin, to the disease 59 years ago when she was 3 years old. The former president and first lady made a donation to Patrick’s Pals after hearing of the young boy’s story, and then Bush parted with his hair.
“He had great hair,’’ Hager joked. “The man still has brown hair — 89 years old and still with brown hair.”
Hager is currently out on maternity leave after giving birth to daughter Mila in April, but she is planning on conducting an interview with the elder Bush for TODAY.
“You know when there’s something with my grandfather, I just have to go,’’ she said. “I will rub his bald head for good luck.”