These days it seems that most people know someone who has been touched with cancer and Gabby Baker is no different.
After she lost her friend to the disease in January she wanted to do something to raise money for cancer research.
Not necessarily for a particular cancer, but she wanted to raise money so that researchers can continue to look into new treatments, prevention and ultimately a cure.
“When my friend passed away earlier this year I really wanted to do something big, not only to remember her but to also see if I could help fund researchers,” Gabby said.
“Also running Inside Out Cafe at Lighthouse Beach lots of my customers come in and over time you build relationships with them – and when we started talking a number of them knew or had themselves been touched by cancer.”
Over the last few months Gabby, her friends and family have raised an astounding $23,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, which since its beginnings in 1984, has awarded more than $136.8 million to 37 different cancer research institutes in Australia.
“We decided to run raffles and do little fund raising things in the shop over the last few months but there was always this thing in the back of my mind about doing something bigger – to try and raise a lot of funds for the foundation,” she said.
“In the end I decided to jump really out of my comfort zone and do something bold and I came up with the idea to shave my head.
“Soon after my son Tom Woodham decided to do it as well – having lost another relative to cancer recently – and in the end his friend Liam Byrnes also did it.
So on May 26 the trio held a Hawaiian themed gathering at Settlers Inn in Port Macquarie where the big shave took place.
“It was such a great night and so many people came together for the great cause that is raising money to beat cancer.
“At the moment we have raised $23,247 and I am just overwhelmed at how supportive the community has been to our fund raising efforts.
“It was really great that the boys did it as well, I am so proud of them for shaving their heads and raising some money as well.”
Gabby said that that originally her goal had been to raise $10,000 but she exceeded even her own expectations.
“I never thought I would raise $10,000 but to now have raised over $23,000 is fantastic.
“I just keep thinking it would be so fantastic if our kids or even their kids could grow up in a world without cancer, and the money raised will help those who are working towards that goal make it a reality.”
To donate to Gabby’s fund raising efforts click here.