Robyn, Peter and Alexandria Thomas add the finishing touches to mum Mariann’s newly-shaved and coloured head. Mariann and Peter both shaved their heads for World’s Greatest Shave. Photo: Claudia Baxter
Robyn, Peter and Alexandria Thomas add the finishing touches to mum Mariann’s newly-shaved and coloured head. Mariann and Peter both shaved their heads for World’s Greatest Shave. Photo: Claudia Baxter

Survivor family support

AFTER facing down the nightmare of childhood cancer together it seemed only natural the Thomas family would approach World's Greatest Shave the same way.

Mariann and husband Pete Thomas both had their heads shaved on Friday at Ipswich Adventist School, with daughters Alex, 6, and Robyn, 4, colouring their hair.

Mrs Thomas said taking part in the event was their way of supporting other children who were faced with a similar prognosis as Alex.

The six-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer known as Wilms Tumour in March 2009, after her mother noticed a lump under her rib cage.

Mrs Thomas said the family had raised more than $1000 to benefit the Leukemia Foundation, with close to $500 raised by the school and $200 from Ipswich council.

Pledging to shave her head if enough money was raised, she said once funds passed the $650 mark, she knew it was coming off

Mrs Thomas said, through World's Greatest Shave, the family hoped to support patients and their families, as well as helping fund research into better treatments.

“Leukemia Foundation not only help fund research, but care for families in need,” Mrs Thomas said.

“We were once a family in need and were helped, not by the foundation, but a similar organisation, so we know where the money goes.

“It is good to know in a small way you can give back.

“Even adults get leukemia and it is not an easy road for anyone.”

Ipswich Adventist School principal Kim Roberts said students had got into the spirit of the event with a crazy hair day.

Mr Roberts said Alex's former teacher Melissa Blake had headed up the school's fundraising drive, with students encouraged to donate whatever they could.



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