Greytown School made a big day of the hair shaving. PHOTOS/KYLIE ALEXANDER

JOHN LAZO-RON
john.lazo-ron@age.co.nz

When Rachel Millar’s best friend’s daughter Brady was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma cancer and sent immediately into intensive care, she wanted to show her full support by shaving off her hair while raising money for the Cancer Society.

After discussing doing the cut at Greytown School, where Millar is a teachers aide, a June 4 date was agreed to, with a couple of pupils also putting their hand up to get their locks chopped.

Sadly, Brady passed away in April, just a couple of weeks off her 17th birthday and well before the haircut date had come to pass.

However, despite Brady’s passing, Millar still went ahead with the chop to raise funds for cancer and remember Brady.

“It felt like unfinished business,” Millar said.

“When it comes to cancer, there’s nothing you can do [physically] that’s going to help them, but I felt at the time like this was something I could do that might make Brady feel a bit better.

“The Cancer Society did so much for [Brady’s family], and do so much for people who have cancer and for families who have children with cancer that we don’t know about. So it just felt like the right thing to do.

“Doing this seemed like a great way to make money for them and to remember Brady.”

Millar said Brady had given her full support for the idea, telling her to be brave and strong.

After: Rachel Millar, Violet Morison, Amelia Wos and Hunter Tobin.

Millar’s eight-year-old daughter, Amelia, and fellow Greytown School pupils Violet Morison and Hunter Tobin jumped in on the act with their own solid reasons as to why they wanted to show their support.

Violet, 8, had grandparents who went through cancer. She said seeing them lose their hair was difficult for her.

“My grandma and grandpa both had cancer, and I think it’s really hard for people who have cancer when they lose their hair,” she said.

“So I shaved my hair to donate it and help with cancer.

“The fact that lots of children who are younger than us have cancer just isn’t fair because they didn’t do anything to deserve it.”

Hunter, 9, had similar motives.

“The main reason for me was people are losing their hair and getting sick and stuff,” he said.

“These people don’t deserve to have cancer, so shaving my head is showing that they’re not alone and they’re going to be okay. You’re going to be fixed.”

Amelia said she wanted to support her mum but also Brady, who she knew well.

“I wanted to shave my hair for cancer because my mum was doing it,” she said.

“And because it was really sad that Brady died. I wanted to do this for her too.”

Before: Rachel Millar [teacher], Violet Morison, Hunter Tobin and Amelia Wos.

Greytown School staged a mufti-day [non-uniform] for the school children in support of the day and collected $500 for the cause.

Hairdressers from the SR hair salon in Greytown came in to do the cutting free of charge.

All four said they were happy they went through with it, raising more than $6000 for the cause in the meantime.

“It’s just unthinkable to see one of your friends go through something like that, so I’m glad I did it,” Millar said.

“Raising money for organisations like the Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, Child Cancer, and Leukemia Foundation is something we should all look into.”

“I’m happy somebody will get a wig from my hair,” Violet said.

Asked what their initial reaction was to see their heads shaved, Hunter said, “Um, we have no hair.”



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