News

Losing her locks for a cause

By Jarryd Barca

Rutherglen High School student Josie Beattie hasn’t had her hair cut in five years. 

But now the 15-year-old is going under the razor to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation, helping find a cure to end blood cancer as part of the World’s Greatest Shave. 

She will also be donating her hair to Hair with Heart, a charity that will send the hair to specialised wig makers to make wigs for those who have lost their hair due to a medical condition. 

“I believe that everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another during their life, whether that be through a family member, friend, neighbour or even themselves,” Josie posted on her World’s Greatest Shave profile.

“My hair is a very small sacrifice to something incredibly important that could possibly end up helping or even save someone’s life.”

Josie’s younger brother Charlie, 12, has also registered in support of his sister, while good friend Chelsea is also donating her hair. 

Josie’s mother Naomi said she is proud of her children’s initiative, saying it’s refreshing to see such young people willing to give back to their community and making a sacrifice to help others.

“I love her hair, it’s beautiful hair but I see it as I’ve got two big happy healthy kids,” she told The Free Press.

“Lots of families sit by and watch their kids lose hair and at the end of it I’ll still have healthy kids, so in the end it’s just hair. 

“For me it’s a no brainer, it’s what she wants to do and I’m very proud of both of them.

“Especially for women and girls with cancer the process and losing hair is such a knock to personality but some people don’t have a choice. 

“I’m excited to see what happens, I think she’ll look amazing.”

Josie and Chelsea both thought of the idea, thinking if they were going to cut their hair they may as well do it for a good cause. 

“It will be sad, but I won’t need to use hair dye anymore…I use so much!” Josie told The Free Press.

“I started by just wanting to donate my hair but then I thought I could help out other people by raising money for the Leukemia Foundation so now I’m doing both.”

A fundraising event will be hosted at James and Co. Wines on March 15, where Suzie from Jack and the Fox Hair Salon will be cutting the hair.

Winemaker Ricky James said he is happy to be donating his time and venue to support a worthy cause. 

“Hopefully we can get a lot of people along on the night for an awesome cause,” he told The Free Press.

“It’s great to support them and give them a location to do this. We’re always happy to be using this space for little community (events) and it’s great what they’re doing.” 

In Australia, 35 people are diagnosed with blood cancer every day, which is one person every 41 minutes.

The finer details of the March 15 event are not yet finalised, however Naomi flagged the possibility of auctioning some items. 

To help Josie blow her goal of $2,000 out of the park, sponsor and donate by visiting this link: https://bit.ly/2WHQLXK.