Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Long locks get the chop: shaving for a cure

One Cobram woman will shave her head this Sunday to raise money for cancer research.

TONI BRIENT March 14, 2014 4:05am

Braving the shave: Ottrey Homes personal care worker Helen McDonald is shaving for a cure.


Helen McDonald hasn’t let a hairdresser take more than a small snip at her hair for 21 years.

But all that is about to change.

The Cobram woman is shaving her head on Sunday, March 16 to raise money for cancer research.

Her 47cm long locks will be carefully plaited before the chop and donated to Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to be made into a wig for a cancer patient.

Although she will be sad to see it go, Mrs McDonald said shaving her head was her way of showing support for cancer research.

‘‘That’s my most important part of me,’’ she said.

‘‘My hair’s really important to me, so I thought that’s the best way to show how I feel about cancer.’’

The Ottrey Homes personal care worker is no stranger to cancer.

In addition to losing multiple patients to the disease, it also killed her uncle, grandmother and a close friend.

‘‘I’ve just been thinking about it since last year,’’ she said.

‘‘I had a fleeting moment last year and thought, ‘No, I can’t do that.’

‘‘But (an Ottrey Homes resident) passed away a few weeks ago, actually two in the last couple of months, that had cancer.’’

After witnessing the disease in its final stages in her work and personal life, Mrs McDonald decided she needed to do something to help.

‘‘It’s horrible to see them go like that. Something needs to be done.’’

Rebecca Cartledge from Bec’s House of Hair in Barooga will be handling the scissors, and Moira Shire councillor Ed Cox will be operating the shaver.

Ottrey Homes will host a morning tea from 10am and the hair cut will begin about 11am.

Mrs McDonald said she was nervous, but said it was a small price to pay for an important cause.

‘‘I’m a bit worried whether (my hair) comes back grey, but it will grow back,’’ she said.

To donate to Mrs McDonald’s cause, visit and search for ‘Helen McDonald’.

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