Strength in numbers

TEAM EFFORT: Debbie Smith watches on as others have their head shave to show support for her cancer battle and raise funds for Can Assist. Photo: Ron Arel

TEAM EFFORT: Debbie Smith watches on as others have their head shave to show support for her cancer battle and raise funds for Can Assist. Photo: Ron Arel

IF RESIDENTS happen to spot the extra bald head or two around town, there’s a good reason why.

Last weekend a group of residents lost their locks to raise vital funds for Leeton Can Assist, as well as show their support for family member, friend and co-worker Debbie Smith.

Ms Smith was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November last year, with those around her wanting to do something to cheer her up.

It was decided they would shave their hair off and raise a dollar or two to help other Leeton shire cancer patients at the same time.

Organiser of the head shave, Makayla Boots, said close to $3000 was raised as a result.

“I think we had over 10 people shave their head on the day, which was really great,” she said.

“There were some that just came on the day and decided to do it.

“A young girl even come up to us that had really long hair and said she didn't want to shave it all off, but she ended up getting it cut off above the shoulders.

“It was things like that that really added to what we were doing.

“I thought the support was really great.”

Miss Boots said the response from the community had helped to lift Ms Smith’s spirits ahead of and during the shave. 

“I think the excitement of it all was really great for her,” Miss Boots said. 

“It gave her something to focus on and enjoy. 

“It also showed her the support that is out there for her.”

The group had originally hoped to raise as much as possible, but didn’t dream of raising $3000. 

“We were so excited about it,” Miss Boots said. 

“I don’t think we thought we would ever raise that much. People were so generous in the lead up and on the day.”

Miss Boots was one of those that had her head shaved on the day and said while it had been slightly nerve-wracking, she was getting used to the new style. 

“I’ve sometimes been forgetting about it until someone says ‘what have you done to yourself’ and I remember,” she said. 

“It’s only hair. It will grow back. I think for everyone taking part it was just something we could do to show our support.”

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