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A heartfelt thank you to inspirational 10-year-old

Eden McDonald with parents Emma and Rob and Wairarapa Cancer Society centre manager Amber Arkell. PHOTO/ERIN KAVANAGH-HALL

An “inspirational” Fernridge School pupil has shed her gorgeous locks for a good cause: Raising over $6000, and earning rapturous applause from her schoolmates and a heartfelt thank you from the Wairarapa Cancer Society.

In honour of Daffodil Day, 10-year-old Eden McDonald pledged to do a sponsored head-shave, with all proceeds going towards cancer support services in Wairarapa.

Last Friday, supported by her family and school community, the Year 6 pupil took to the stage at a special Daffodil Day school assembly, where a hairdresser chopped and buzzed off her waist-length tresses.

Eden was thrilled with her new pixie cut but more so with her fundraising campaign, which raised $6003, with donations flooding in from all over the country, and as far away as Australia.

She will donate her locks to Freedom Hair, a Dunedin-based company which makes wigs for people living with cancer and other medical conditions.

Eden said she wanted to make her donation in memory of her grandmother, who battled four different types of cancer.

Wairarapa Cancer Society centre manager Amber Arkell made a speech at the end of the assembly, and became visibly emotional when thanking Eden for her bravery and generosity.

“Donations like yours mean the cancer cociety can keep its doors open, and support people who are going through a really rough time,” Arkell told the youngster.

“What you have done is so incredible, admirable and inspiring and our whole community is behind you.

“You will have a special place in my heart for a long time.”

Mum Emma McDonald said witnessing Eden’s shave was “an emotional” moment but Eden wasn’t at all fazed by the thought of losing her hair.

“She’s had long hair since she was three, her hair has always been her thing,” Emma said.

“I thought she’d be nervous, but she was more excited than anything else.

“We couldn’t be prouder of her, and we’re so grateful for everyone’s support.”

Arkell said Eden’s donation will “absolutely be kept in the Wairarapa community” and will go towards travel costs for patients’ treatment and counselling services.

“I don’t think Eden realises the enormity of her actions or how many people she’s going to help.

“It takes a very special 10-year-old to do what she’s just done.”

The cancer society also received $800 from Fernridge School, courtesy of its Daffodil Day-themed mufti day.

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall is the editor of the Wairarapa Midweek. She has been a journalist for the past 10 years, and has a keen interest in arts, culture, social issues, and community justice.

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