My hair’s my thing – but I’ll happily lose it for the future of other people

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As a young lady it was my hair that I admired the most about myself. Even as a child I knew my locks were tremendous.  

Me and Phil 1971

As you can plainly see, my hair was immense from the get-go. It’s magnificence is evidenced my older brother Phil always wanting to be photographed with it.

Me and Phil 1972
Me and Phil 1974

As I got a little older my hair was attracting the attention of the media and jobs were plentiful.

As I reached adolescence, I began to awaken to the notion of the grass always being greener. I had dead straight brown hair and all I wanted was to be a blonde with a killer perm. No reasonable person was able to talk me out of it.

Me in prisoner cell block 1984

The result was horrendous, albeit very cool for the day There were many years of bad hair decisions to follow. There was even a Beehive incident that I recall with some horror

There were many years of bad hair decisions to follow. There was even a Beehive incident that I recall with some horror

Things started to improve for my coifs I realised that everyone wanted to wear their hair straight and that I already possessed such a thing!

Me and dreadful perm 1986

Once enlightened by this news my hair rocked in all the best ways possible. My hair was so resplendent that my brother Phil flew all the way to Japan, where I was living and working at the time, just to visit my hair and dye his hair the same colour!

Several years later, I cut my hair short, or short by my definition. That was a radical move!

Me and dreadful blonde 1987

My hair was asked to be Matron of Horror at Phil’s wedding some years later. It had a good day that day!

My hair made a comeback to the stage in 2010. It was still pretty strong but was losing its lustre

My hair began to change after I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. One of the side effects is hair loss. That didn’t stop my hair from having a sense of humour

Me in Japan 1994

So the hair had to get shorter again but it was better than it all falling out. That got me thinking. The medication I took to stabilize my Bipolar Disorder made my hair fall out. A lot of medications have the same side effect. Chemotherapy certainly does.

The Leukaemia Foundation has developed a way to acknowledge this side effect and raise money from its very existence. It’s quite a stroke of genius.

Me after big heartcut 1999

You pledge to shave your head on a certain date and find people to sponsor you for your efforts. It is called ‘World’s Greatest Shave” and it aims to raise money for research into blood cancer and finding a cure as well as supporting families who have a member suffering from Blood Cancer. Australia is a very large place and many people live far away from a big city hospital.

Treatment requires travel and accommodation for the family members for extended periods of time and The Leukaemia Foundation assists with these things so that families have one less thing to worry about while their loved one is in hospital.

My husband, Rob, lost his Mother to Leukaemia several years ago. It was before our relationship began and I never had the pleasure of meeting her. T

his always saddens me when he tells stories about her and what an amazing woman she was. He also speaks about the insidious way blood cancer destroys the human body and the sadness he felt when he knew there was nothing, he could do to help her or take away her pain.

Rach on stage

Almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. If you have been lucky enough to avoid cancer, then it is likely that you know someone who is not so lucky. I have known people who have fought against cancer and won.

I have known people who have fought against cancer and lost, and I know people who are still fighting.

I thought a bit longer about my little problem of hair loss and what that meant in the grand scheme of things. My conclusion was that it meant nothing What right do I have to complain about a little bit of hair loss?

What right do I have to complain about anything when I place my complaints next to the troubles and battles of these people? No right. None. What I do have is a responsibility to do whatever I can to help. Will I shave of my much-loved hair on March 16th, 2019? You bet I will!

Me at a wedding 2008

I will happily shave my head to raise money to help others. As a physically well and happy person who has no problems (no I don’t consider my Bipolar Disorder a problem or a deficit but that’s another story) I am compelled to help in the very best way I know how.

I am happy to respectfully ask you who are reading this story to sponsor me in The World’s Greatest Shave. I am also happy to ask if you could ask the person next to you to sponsor me.

Me and my hilarious hair 2013

I ask you to share this story and give as much as you can afford to this cause. Even 1 dollar, or pound or Euro or whatever currency you deal in, makes a difference. I will be eternally grateful and even send a signed copy of my bald head if that’s your thing. Please find the link to my sponsor page here in the story.

Me, really cool 2018

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this story. I hope you find some inspiration to help others within it.

If you are reading my story and you are suffering from any kind of illness, please know that people like me and the millions of others participating in this challenge are thinking about you and wish you wellness.

Let’s be the very best of humanity in a time when all we seem to see is people behaving terribly toward each other. Let’s defend those that cannot defend themselves Let’s show that generosity, kindness and love are the strongest forces and will always prevail:

Rachel – the big shave!


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