Vera writes about the limits of external acts of solidarity. Her response to the shaving of heads in order to be similar to a cancer patient:
I wonder if there are many cancer victims who actually enjoy that. "Oh, honey, we figured you don't see enough bald people in the hospital and in the mirror, so your father and I decided to shave our heads too for your viewing pleasure."
To some this sort of behavior seems touching, but to me it screams as an attempt to capture the center of attention. Look, the sick person has everyone's attention for a reason. Stop fooling around with symbolic acts of solidarity and find something useful to do.