Story & photo Eve Jeffery
At just ten years of age, Riley McCubbin has spent a fair bit of time wondering about other people – wondering about what it would feel like to not only be sick with leukaemia, but what it would feel like to lose your hair because of it. Then he saw an ad on the telly.
Every March thousands of people shave, colour or wax their hair to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. It’s one of Australia’s biggest fundraising events and this year Reilly took the plunge. ‘I saw The World’s Greatest Shave advertised on the TV one night,’ says Reilly. ‘I asked my dad if I could do it and then we registered online.’
Reilly braved the shave to help raise funds for cancer research. ‘I want to help the kids who are really sick and have leukaemia and have no hair,’ said Reilly. ‘I think it’s really sad.’
Reilly got a number one at Blade Barbers in Byron Bay. ‘My dad put a bucket out at his work at Sunrise Cellars and people donated – and after I did it,’ said Reilly, whose hair was down to his collar before the shave. ‘After the barbers I went to work with dad so people could see that I did it.’ Reilly says that a lot came in to see his new do and some even wanted to touch it.
Reilly says the kids at school were very, very surprised to see his new noggin but the only thing he has noticed is that it’s a bit colder. He raised about $500 and he is very please with the response from people who were wanting to donate to help support the research and people with leukaemia.
Reilly said that he feels people do look at him differently now that he has shaved and that is probably the way that kids sick with leukaemia feel when people look at them. His advice for anyone else who is thinking to raise money this way: ‘Just be brave and shave, help kids who don’t have any hair’.
The money raised from The World’s Greatest Shave not only goes towards research but also to supporting patients and their families with free services and practical care. For more information visit the website: www.worldsgreatestshave.com.