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Over the past few years I’ve seen close friends and family battle cancer. Most have won, but some haven’t and I’ve seen their partners and children live with the pain of having to carry on without them. In recent months I’ve also watched as friends have gone through the complete anguish of seeing their own children battle cancer. Again, thanks to the efforts of medical staff and the support of their families and friends, their fight looks to be winning.
In the last few weeks, while working as a reporter for the Plymouth Herald, I’ve watch beautiful young women and handsome young men in Plymouth Brave the Shave, cutting off their hair to raise funds for Macmillan’s nurses and also standing in solidarity with people they know and love in their fight against cancer. And I thought – I like my long hair… a lot. I’m rubbish at running marathons or sitting in baths of baked beans, but I think I could handle having my gorgeous locks lopped off. At least, I think I can.
And then last week I saw a woman in Lidl, thin tufts of hair at random points on her head. No hat, no silk scarf, no beanie. She hasn’t braved the shave, she’s braving cancer, telling it to get stuffed and to hell with how it looks. And there’s no shame or embarrassment in that, just bravery.
So, if you can cough up some sheckles for me (to give to Macmillan) I’ll handle a bit of short-term embarrassment to help others keep being brave… Thanks. (And yes, I’ll make sure the shave goes online to prove my long-but-greying locks are really gone!)