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Close call leads to close shave

Not many teenage girls would be comfortable shaving their hair off.

But for two brave Ipswich students, that is exactly what they did.

St Augustine’s College Augustine Heights students Caitie Casa and Nicola Lees had very personal reasons for shaving their hair off.

The students raised $1300 as part of the World’s Greatest Shave.

While usually a large public event, the shave was instead live-streamed to family and friends due to coronavirus restrictions.

Nicola Lees shared why she chose to shave her long locks.

“When I was young, I was diagnosed with a 1-in-10,000 disease that could have led to the development of leukaemia if not found,” she said.

“I never knew my Nonno (Italian grandpa) because he died of cancer.

“My mum had kidney cancer when I was in Year six and luckily did not require any chemotherapy.

The final push to do the shave came a couple of months ago when Nicola lost her Poppa to cancer.

“He fought so hard and his whole family was so strong, even right at the very end,” she said.

“We watched him conquer cancer twice and, for me, I felt I had to do something to honour him and honour all people and families who live with cancer.”

Caitie Casa and Nicola Lees before the live streamed shave

Caitie Casa and Nicola Lees after the live streamed shave

Fellow year 12 student Caitie Casa has also wanted to take part, moved by her childhood neighbour who shaved her head years ago.

“When Nicola told me she wanted to do it, I thought it was the perfect opportunity,” Caitie said.

“I was anxious about doing it and going against societal norms of what a girl “should look like”, but with Nicola there to support me, it was the right time.

“In the end I became a closer friend with Nicola and have made a lifelong friend along the way.”

St Augustine’s College Augustine Heights principal Graham Meertens said he was very proud of these student leaders.

“These young ladies are personifying our College value of caritas, which is to show love to others,” he said.

“This small but very brave act has helped raise money towards the Leukaemia Foundation and we are proud of the excellent role models they are to our P-12 community.”

Read also:

>>> How an Ipswich doctor is improving end of life care

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