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Ladies Head Shave charity challenge


Ladies Head Shave Charity Challange

Volunteers Amanda Allen, Ursula Blakely, and Jodie-Leigh McClay, preparing to have their heads shaved to raise money for Care For Cancer. Michelle Kelly Sahbani, proprietor of Shine, and Ivan Gilmore, chairman, Care for Cancer, have their scissors and razors at the ready. The event will take place on November 21.

Volunteers Amanda Allen, Ursula Blakely, and Jodie-Leigh McClay, preparing to have their heads shaved to raise money for Care for Cancer. Michelle Kelly Sahbani, proprietor of Shine, and Ivan Gilmore, chairman, Care for Cancer, have their scissors and razors at the ready. The event will take place on November 21.

Three Omagh women are preparing to take a leaf out of the book of celebrities Jessie J and Majella O’Donnell by shaving their heads for charity. The three brave volunteers from the town will next month go under the clippers at Shine Hairdressing in aid of local charity Care for Cancer. While losing a head of hair is nothing new for male fundraisers, it’s a rare feat among female fundraisers. In March this year English singer Jessie J broke the mould by shaving off her locks for Comic Relief, raising £500,000 in the process.

Last month, Daniel O’Donnell’s wife Majella raised €550,000 after having her head shaved live on RTE’s Late Late Show.

Omagh woman Amanda Allen revealed that it was a conversation with her hairdresser Michelle Kelly Sahbani over why only men seemed to take up the challenge that set in motion a chain of events that on November 21 will see Amanda shave her head along with Omagh mother and daughter Ursula Blakely and Jodie-Leigh McClay for the ‘Bald and Beautiful’ challenge in Main Street, Omagh.
Amanda disclosed that she has watched family members battle cancer since the age of 13 and has been inspired by the work of Omagh’s Care for Cancer charity.

“It’s only hair, it’s going to grow back,” said the undaunted mum-of-two.

‘Fell to pieces’

Fellow headshave volunteer Ursula Blakely has spoken openly about her cancer battle for the first time. Diagnosed with cervical cancer on September 25 2012, the Omagh mother revealed that while she coped fairly well with her diagnosis, her family “fell to pieces”.

“I knew there was something wrong for months,” she disclosed. Problems with her mobility eventually resulted in a tumour being uncovered in ligaments in her leg.

Ursula’s radiation treatment included brachytheraphy, which involves administering radiation internally via steel rods.

Stitched, scanned, prodded and pumped with radiation, she labelled the experienced as “horrendous.”
“It was the most horrific thing I have ever done.”

She said by comparison, “Shaving my head in going to be a walk in the park!”

Now more than one year on from the original diagnosis, Ursula’s 18-year-old daughter Jodie-Leigh has bravely decided that she is going to shave her head for her mum. “Her hair means everything to her, but she is doing it because of me. She is very brave,” said the mum.

“We have had quite a lot of deaths in our family from cancer, so I said I would do it for them.”

Amanda Allen, who sits on the Care for Cancer committee, said losing hair is often the biggest fear for women when first diagnosed with cancer. “You don’t have to buy an expensive wig when you lose your hair through cancer, you can still look beautiful without having to cover up,” she said. Next month’s event in Main Street will feature an entertainment packed evening for all the family.
All three brave women have appealed for local people to get behind them through sponsorship. Forms can be accessed by contacting any of the three volunteers or by calling into the Care For Cancer office in Campsie.

For more information contact Amanda on (028) 8225 8356.

Online donations can also be made via mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/amandaallen1.

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