Blue Mountains residents from all walks of life were shaving their heads this week to raise money for people living with cancer as part of the The Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.
Katoomba resident Sandra Potter lost her locks on the Katoomba Skyway on Monday, while it was moving above the valley.
The 63-year-old said it was a spontaneous decision to take part in the shave in support of her friend Wendy Heffernan’s daughter Liane Kelly, who is battling breast cancer. Liane, who now lives in Nambucca Heads, was a longtime babysitter of Ms Potter’s kids.
“She’s doing it tough, and is losing her hair in the third week of chemo,” Ms Potter said.
Ms Potter has worked at Scenic World for 10 years, and was planning a low-key event, when it was suggested the shaving occur on the skyway, a first for Scenic World.
“I was going to sit on the cafe terrace and have my family around me, and it developed and grew,” she said.
“I’m nervous, but excited as well.”
Ms Potter has raised more than $750 and is confident she will reach her $1000 goal.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Mountains, 11-year-old Sam Attard was shaving his head on Friday after pestering his mum Rebecca Hackney for two years to take part in the event.
Sam, who lives with autism, ADHD and dyslexia, said he wanted to help others.
“I feel like there’s less fortunate people out there and shaving my head would be a little and big thing to do. Sometimes I get help but sometimes people don’t. Shaving my head would help,” he said.
Sam, who attends Blaxland East Public School, has raised $320 for the cause, surpassing his $125 goal.
“I thought he was too young to participate until this year, shaving your head is a big commitment and Sam would not have been happy just colouring it,” Ms Hackney said.
“He has the biggest heart and I can see how proud he is to be raising money for this great cause.”
It took just 10 minutes in Glenbrook for Do Hairdressing’s Emily Collier to shave off the hair that Sam had been growing for three years.
And in Springwood on Friday, Lloyds Super IGA customer service manager Kellie Duane shaved off her mid-back length hair.
Ms Duane has worked at the supermarket for nine years, six of which have been as the customer service manager.
She decided in January to participate in the World’s Greatest Shave, and over the past seven weeks has been collecting donations, raising more than $5500.
Funds raised give families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need and also help fund vital research.