A Nottingham hairdresser has had her own hair shaved off to raise money for a leading cancer charity.
Mary Geoghegan, Style Director at KH Hair in Castle Gate, took a seat in her own chair to brave the shave for Bloodwise (formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research) after a family friend of the same age (30) was diagnosed with blood cancer last year.
“I hear too often how cancer is affecting people and taking away lives.” she explained. “One of the biggest challenges for people fighting cancer is losing their hair/their identity so, as a hairdresser, I want to try and break the stigma. I want to give anyone fighting a boost so they can hold their heads high and be proud of who they are.
“My hair is my identity and how I represent myself both to my clients and to the wider industry. However, cancer doesn’t care about that but by having my head shaved, I’m saying, with or without my hair, I’m still Mary. I can’t imagine what it’s like living with cancer but I’m doing this for everyone who is.”
Bloodwise has changed the world for people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood disorders – but says it won’t stop until every single one of the 38,000 people diagnosed with a blood cancer each year survives and can live their lives to the full.
Mary confessed to being really nervous in the weeks running up to the event but received fantastic support from friends, colleagues and clients who reminded her daily how brave she was to do it for such a great cause. “During the shave, I was shaking a lot and there were a couple of moments when I nearly burst into tears, but the love and support from everyone around me kept me strong.” she said. “Everyone kept telling me how much it suited me which was so lovely. Kindness is everything.”
Salon Director, Debbie McMenamin, was the one to start Mary’s shave. “I was shaking too.” she said. “I’m not a trained hairdresser for one thing! But Mary was so brave. She is a beautiful person inside and out, with or without her hair and we are so proud to have her on our team.”
Bloodwise isn’t the only charity to benefit from Mary’s bravery. The longest bits of her hair were braided before being shaved off and will be donated to The Little Princess Trust charity which makes wigs for children suffering from cancer and other illnesses.
“We all need to make changes in our day to day lives to help beat cancer.” said Mary. “Simple things like paying attention to your body – how it feels on the inside, not necessarily how it looks on the outside. Cancer feeds off the toxic food, stress and emotions in your body and even making simple changes to your diet can make all the difference.”
Mary has so far raised over £3,000 for Bloodwise which will go towards research and to those suffering from cancer who need support. Any donations can be made via her Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maryghair.