12-year-old Kenmore Girl Shaving Her Head for the World’s Greatest Shave

Photo credit: Anna Leatham

Issy O’Keef, a shy girl from Kenmore State High School, is taking a big step to raise money to help children struggling with blood cancer. On Saturday, 24 March, the young girl will cut off all her beautiful long hair for cancer, as she takes part in the World’s Greatest Shave for the Leukaemia Foundation.

When Issy decided to participate in the World’s Greatest Shave, her initial goal was to raise $500; but now, thanks to the help and support she got from her family, friends, and her school, she has been able to raise $1,342 to date.

“The reason I want to take part in this is because I was sad to learn that 26.7 percent of children worldwide struggle through leukaemia, causing heartache, pain, and major hair loss. I wanted to be able to help one or more of these children by donating my hair to WigsForKids and raising some money to help with specialist care and research,” said Issy.

Issy with her mum. (Photo Supplied)

At first, Issy’s mother, Anna Leatham, was surprised to hear that her daughter was joining the World’s Greatest Shave.

“When Issy came home from school and announced with total conviction that she was going to raise money for kids with cancer by doing the World’s Greatest Shave, I must admit to being a bit taken aback, to say the least,” said Anna.

Anna admitted that, at first, she was doubtful that the idea would stay appealing to her daughter, since shaving all her hair off is quite extreme for her. She said, “I got her all wrong! She is determined to do this, and in fact is pretty excited!”

“I am extremely proud of this girl, who is very empathetic, courageous, and thoughtful. She cannot wait to be able to donate the money she has raised and also her hair to WigsForKids,” she added.

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Although a bit nervous, Issy’s family is very proud and supportive of her. Her big sister is very proud and protective of her. Her brother instantly posted her sponsor page on social media, with a shoutout to all of his friends. He was blown away upon hearing that his sister is taking such a bold move to help those in need.

Even her grandparents shared how proud they are of Issy for doing such a great thing.

One of the things that has inspired Issy the most in this endeavour is the experience of her Auntie Sue who had cancer. Because of her, Issy is doubly determined to help in supporting this charity.

Issy, with her dear Aunt Sue (Photo Supplied)

“My Auntie Sue did not have Leukaemia but she did lose all of her beautiful hair after twice fighting a different cancer. That motivated me to want to help support a charity like this,” said Issy.

Auntie Sue is her mother’s older sister in the UK that went through two separate bouts of breast cancer.

Her mother said, “She, of course, lost all her hair and this seems to have stuck in Issy’s mind, particularly thinking of how hard it would be for kids to lose their hair.”

Issy is set to show her bravery and have her hair shaved this Saturday, 9:00 a.m. at Etticut Hair, Marshall Lane, Kenmore.

You can still show your support for this courageous young girl and help her in her quest to help children afflicted with blood cancer.

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