HUGS and words of congratulations were in plentiful supply for Piper Kenna last week, after she shaved her hair to raise money for cancer research and treatment.
The St Thomas’ Primary School Grade 3 student was the centre of attention at last Friday morning’s assembly as she took the leap in front of a group of peers, family and community members.
Initially starting her journey months ago with a goal of raising $1000, her cause has recently surpassed $12,000 with the total continuing to climb.
Piper decided to shave her hair after two of her aunts, Jane and Leanne, passed away from cancer.
She also lost her grandmother to cancer a year ago and has witnessed family friend Symone Moloney lose her hair after undergoing cancer treatment.
Piper’s mother Joanne Kenna said she was “extremely proud” of her daughter’s willingness to lose her locks for cancer research and awareness.
“We are so proud of you, Piper and I know that Nana, Leanne and Jane would be smiling down on you today, along with my two grandfathers and uncle that also passed away from cancer,” she said.
School principal Ben van de Camp, family and friends each took off a pigtail while the school community watched on with excitement.
Emotions began to run high as Piper started to become teary as she became more excited to see her new hairdo.
Thomson Street Hair Design hairdresser Anna McMaster made the finishing touches with hair clippers.
When the moment came for Piper to take in her new look, she said she was “shocked”.
Overcome with emotion, she embraced her grandmother Susan Coolahan with tears in her eyes.
Mrs Kenna said they would donate half of the funds raised to the Leukaemia Foundation and half to Breast Cancer Network Australia, thanking the school community for their support.
“The support we have received from you has been wonderful – the ‘no worries’ attitude and letting me run this campaign under the school banner hasn’t gone unnoticed,” she said.
“The teachers and the students’ kind wishes and words of encouragement have helped Piper overcome her nerves and fears.”
Mrs Kenna also thanked her family and the wider community for their donations and words of assistance for Piper.
“There has never been anything but positivity from you all and we really appreciate it,” she said.
“Our community has been fantastic and organisations near and far have been nothing short of amazing.”
Mr van de Camp said the school community was proud of Piper’s achievement in raising an “astronomic amount of money”.
Piper also donated her hair to the Sustainable Salons cause via Thomson Street Hair Design.
Sustainable Salons has provided customised bins to the Terang salon to allow for safe disposal of waste and other products, including paper, metals and hair.
Collections made through Sustainable Salons so far have included 43,700 ponytails which have made 2185 wigs for cancer and alopecia sufferers, preventing 89,900 kilograms of plastic and 18,900 kilograms of hair going to landfill.
For more information on the Sustainable Salons scheme, visit sustainablesalons.org.
To contribute to Piper’s cause, visit www.mycause.com.au/page/206294/no-hairdont-care.