NEWMAN Senior Technical College student Ryan Sheppard is one of many across Australia who will give up his hair for charity.
Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave raises vital funds for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, which are types of blood cancer. They can develop in anyone, of any age, at any time.
More than 60,000 Australians are living with blood cancer or related disorders, and every day another 35 people will be diagnosed.
Blood cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in Australia, claiming more lives than breast cancer or melanoma.
Although research is improving survival, sadly an Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours.
“I’m helping to beat blood cancer by taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave,” he said.
“Sponsoring me will give Aussie families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need.
“You will also help fund vital research so more people survive blood cancers like lymphoma, leukaemia and melanoma.”
The money is used in a range of ways. For example, $250 is enough to enable a family to attend a support program specific to their blood cancer.
A donation of $560 will give a regional family a place to stay close to treatment in the city for one week, and $1200 will provide free transport for people who are too ill to drive after chemotherapy treatment, for two weeks.
Katy Waldron offered up her head for a buzz cut last year, and did not hesitate to put her hand up again in 2017.
“Shaving my head last year made me realise some of the emotional impact a cancer patient would have when losing their own hair on top of dealing with the cancer itself,” she said.
“Seeing the families dealing with hardship of blood cancer made me want to do it again as it was the least I could do to support them.
“Hopefully I can raise enough funds to support research. I would love to raise at least $5000 myself this year.”
At the time of print, Ryan had broken his goal of $930 by raising more than $1035, and Katy had raised $1078.
Ryan will shave his head on March 17 and Katy will be in the hot seat on March 18.