For the past seven years Jacinta O’Flaherty hasn’t had a haircut, but on Friday she lost her long locks as part of the Leukaemia Foundation’s Worlds Greatest Shave.
The deed was done at a barbecue hosted by the Rotary Club of Griffith Avanti, raising a further $350 on top of the more than $1000 Miss O’Flaherty had already raised herself.
For secretary of the Rotary club Lyn Sparks it was a wonderful gesture made by the young woman, who hadn’t had a haircut since 2010 and yet still bravely faced the scissors.
“She is a young person and it is just lovely to see young people so involved in their communities and wanting to do something for someone else,” she said.
“Jacinta decided to shave her head to support cancer suffers who lose their hair as a result of their treatments.
“On being questioned about the decision she had made – her response was ‘why not’ – a wonderful positive life philosophy.”
For the crowd gathered outside of Bunnings to witness Miss O’Flaherty’s astounding transformation the process was a startling reminder of what cancer patients themselves go through.
“Jacinta went from a beautiful head of hair to a mohawk in minutes,” Mrs Sparks said.
“Looking at herself she exclaimed ‘my eyebrows have never been more important’ – and her mother who supported her through the process told her she looked great.”
With many friends and family in the crowd supporting both the young woman and the Rotary Club, the clippers didn’t stop at Miss O’Flaherty.
“Her employer Rakesh [Chaudhari] from Zara’s then met the challenge from those gathered and lost his locks to support Jacinta,” Mrs Sparks said.
With funds raised on the ground in Griffith assisting those most in need Mrs Sparks said it was good to see so many support the cause.
“The program runs right across Australia and funds raised from the day are directed to giving families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need and funding vital research that will help more people survive blood cancers like lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma,” she said.
Miss O’Flaherty has a fundraising page on the World’s Greatest Shave website.