“I was overwhelmed. I was emotional. I was floored.”
That’s how Rebecca Hart felt when she found out a group of her friends had started a team for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave called Becky’s Warriors.
One of those brave friends or as Becky describes them – hairless warriors – is the Mudgee Guardian’s Paige Sales.
Paige signed up to raise much needed funds and awareness for leukaemia after finding out her 28-year-old friend had been diagnosed with a rare form of the condition late last year.
Blood cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in Australia, claiming more lives than breast cancer or melanoma.
On Saturday, the group of five friends faced the electric shaver after raising close to $11 thousand. Paige, the only female in the group, described the experience as “very nerve-racking”.
“I’ve never had hair shorter than my shoulders, so to have the whole lob off, I was like ‘oh my gosh’,” Paige explained.
Paige’s partner Nick Roberts also shaved his head on Saturday as part of the ‘Becky’s Warriors’ team, but he encouraged his family and friends to get behind his 24-year-old girlfriend.
“He sent an email to everyone saying ‘no-one cares if I cut my hair, but for anyone that knows Paige, it’s a big deal’,” Paige said of the $2000 she raised for the group.
All money raised by participants of the World’s Greatest Shave will be used to fund vital research that will help more people survive blood cancers like lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma, while improving their quality of life.
Blood cancer and related disorders can develop in anyone, of any age, at any time.
More than 60,000 Australians are living with blood cancer or related disorders, and the equivalent of one person every 41 minutes is diagnosed.
Although research is improving survival, sadly an Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours.