A Hartlepool woman is braving the shave to raise funds for a cancer charity that helped two of her loved ones in their final days.
Cleo Dwyer’s hair falls almost to her waist, but she’s having it all shaved off to raise cash for Macmillan.
The charity cared for her best friend, Jessica Mortimer, and partner Les Grihault’s mum, Ray Helm, after they were diagnosed with cancer.
Now Cleo, a mum-of-five, wants to thank them by taking on the hair-raising challenge the charity has dubbed Brave the Shave.
The 55-year-old, from Belle Vue, said: “Macmillan made their last moments really bearable. The nurses were just fantastic and were really there for them through it all.
“Whatever they needed, day or night, they could phone them up and speak to them, it was like a new best friend for them both.
“I want to do something to help them be there for someone else. Macmillan empowered Jessica and Ray to keep their dignity throughout everything they were going through.”
Cleo, who works in event security, is planning to shave her hair on August 24, and will also be donating the locks to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.
It’s a particularly brave move for Cleo, who has a phobia of being touched and hasn’t had her hair cut for five years.
She said: “The last time I went to have my hair cut, it just came out of nowhere and I couldn’t cope with being touched.
“I’ll hug my friends and family now, but even that took a while, but I don’t like shaking stranger’s hands and things like that.
“It’s going to be tough but I’m doing it for Jessica and Ray, and they were both much braver than I could ever be.”
She added: “When I decided to do it, I thought it was a shame for all that hair to just go on the floor then in the bin, and I’d heard of the Little Princess Trust and thought it was a great idea to give my hair to them.
“It must be tough for anyone to lose their hair through cancer, but I think there is more stigma attached to it for children, so the charity does a great thing.”
Cleo is hoping to raise £1,000 by shaving off her hair.
To sponsor her, go to www.bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/cleophis-dwyer
She’s also hoping to find a hairdresser who will give her the dramatic new look free of charge, so that as much money as possible can go to the charity.
If anyone can help, they should email Cleo on firstname.lastname@example.org