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Ipswich ‘Rapunzel’ cuts hair for charity

 Photo: Defence

One Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours.

Blood cancer claims more lives than breast cancer and melanoma.

Leading Aircraftwoman (LACW) Jen Porter of RAAF Amberley felt like she was given a huge slap of reality when a friend of hers was battling breast cancer.

“I had the opportunity to touch and feel the cancer inside of her and it was really grounding. I could feel the lump. It was a huge slap of reality to be able to feel what was making her so sick,” LACW Porter said.

She has decided to take part in the Leukaemia Foundation World’s Greatest Shave next month.

LACW Porter is inspired by a close friend of hers who is currently battling and aggressive cancer.

“She constantly has a smile on her face. She is amazing,” LACW Porter said.

“I decided that shaving my hair is a small contribution to make.

“I can do that as a free choice whereas some of my friends and family don’t have that choice. For some, it’s just hair, they feel they have bigger issues to worry about, but for others, their hair means everything to them. It’s feels like they are losing their identity, their strength and who they are.

“Cutting my hair is nothing compared to what these people are going through.”

LACW Porter’s plait is 46cm long and she will be donating her hair to the Greatest Shave as well.

You can donate here to support LACW Porter in her fundraising efforts, or take her lead and sign up yourself at  worldsgreatestshave.com.

LACW Porter is looking forward to a new look with some plans for funky hats and large earrings.

“As a redhead, I’ll just have to get my eyebrows and lashes tinted first,” she said.

Fast facts

  • More than 12,000 Australians will develop leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma this year – or 35 people every day.
  • Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma are types of blood cancer. They can develop in anyone, at any time at any age.
  • Right now, more than 60,000 Australians are living with a blood cancer or related disorders.
  • For the first time last year the gender balance tipped in favour of more females than males shaving for a cure.
  • Money raised by the World’s Greatest Shave goes to organisations like the Leukaemia Foundation so they can support those affected by a diagnosis. This includes the Foundation advocating for better access to medicines as well as funding ground breaking research programs that would help improve treatments and survivability rates.
  • 13-17 March, more than 20 000 people of communities right across Australia will shave with an aim to raise more than $16 million.

Ipswich First

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