Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Hospital security guard to shave beard

Echuca Regional Health security guard John Thompson will shave his beard for the World's Greatest Shave in March.

ALEX BATHMAN January 29, 2014 4:04am

Echuca Regional Health oncology unit’s Jenny Walliss, Nicole Walker and Di Taylor can’t wait to see John Thompson shave his beard.

John Thompson is about to lose his beard for a worthy cause and reckons he won’t miss the food that gets stuck in it.

The Echuca Regional Health security guard is taking a light-hearted approach to a serious issue and will take part in the World’s Greatest Shave in March.

The event raises funds for people with leukaemia.

Mr Thompson is one of four hospital employees who are preparing to get the clippers out.

The fundraising group, Beauties and the Beast, includes Nicole Walker, Di Taylor, Jenny Walliss as well as the ‘‘beast’’ Mr Thompson.

All four have witnessed the effects of cancer through their line of work and on a personal level.

Ms Walliss lost both her parents to cancer and her sister battled the disease.

‘‘It’s still hard to talk about it now and it’s been years,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m a great believer in trying to help people.

‘‘If I can help one person, I’d be happy as I know what it’s like to lose a parent.’’

Ms Taylor’s partner, Kevin, has been battling leukaemia and is undergoing chemotherapy.

‘‘It’s really complicated seeing a loved one with cancer because you don’t know how they would be feeling,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s so far, so good but I can tell that he isn’t dealing with it well at the moment.’’


The three women will shave their heads while Mr Thompson will say goodbye to his 20 year-old beard.


Mr Thompson and his wife, Renay, said their children had never seen him without his signature beard.

‘‘I showed (the children) a photo of him the other day and they just didn’t believe me,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m not going to miss the food that gets stuck in it,’’ Mr Thompson said.

‘‘Sauce is one of the worst things and anything flaky – toast or pastry.’’

He admits ‘‘to saving some for later’’.

Mrs Walker said her work in the oncology department inspired her to register for the annual event.

‘‘I give the drugs to patients that make them lose their hair so I can lose my hair too,’’ she said.

The group wants to raise at least $2000.

‘‘If we can make $4000 though I will shave my head to a number two instead of a number three,’’ she said.

The money raised will be halved between the Leukaemia Foundation and the hospital’s supportive care fund for patients and their families.

A movie night will take place on Wednesday, February 5, at Paramount Cinema in Echuca at 7pm. A sausage sizzle will take place at Bunnings on Saturday, February 15, from 8.30am to 4pm and a raffle will be conducted. Tickets for the movie night cost $17 and raffle tickets cost $1. To buy tickets, call the hospital’s oncology department on 58855229.

Alex Bathman

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