NONE of her family or friends have been personally affected by leukaemia, but 11-year-old Rhiannah Maddocks still decided she would do something to help others.
The Cudgee Primary School pupil’s grandfather shaved her shoulder-length hair in front of her cheering classmates yesterday to raise money for leukaemia research.
She has raised more than $1130 for the World’s Greatest Shave.
She said her mother and younger brother had inspired her to shave her head to raise money for charity.
“About two years ago my brother Jarren raised money for people living in poverty,” Rhiannah said.
“He tried to help people and my mother also shaved her head after I was born and so they inspired me to do something for others.”
The grade 6 pupil had decided to shave her head after last year’s World’s Greatest Shave.
Her mother helped her set up a Facebook page in a bid to generate awareness for her cause, while many of her schoolmates donated.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who donated and supported me, including my family and the school,” Rhiannah said.
The World’s Greatest Shave runs from March 14 until tomorrow.
Money raised supports blood cancer research and funds patient support services.
Every year, more than 2500 Victorians are diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
Leukaemia Foundation Victoria general manager Stephanie Hechenberger said the World’s Greatest Shave was the foundation’s “most important fund-raising event”.
“Blood cancer is devastating,” she said.
“For those living in regional areas, it can mean leaving work, school and family and relocating to the city, adding to the shock and emotional turmoil of the diagnosis.”
Today, people can have their hair shaved off for $10 or coloured for $5 at Warrnambool’s Gateway Plaza shopping centre.
The event will be held at the food court area in front of Best and Less between 10am and 2pm.
On Friday, March 22 members of the public are invited to attend another fund-raising event for cancer research which will be held at the City Memorial Bowls Club.
People can have their head shaved for $20 or have their hair coloured for $10.
There will also be prizes, raffles and face-painting from 5pm until 8pm.
Among others who shaved their locks off for charity yesterday were: South West Healthcare Rehabilitation Ward workers Sam Bell, speech pathologist Jenna Hogarth, physiotherapist Rose Morgan and continence nurse Sharon Homberg.