Teacher loses her locks to raise funds for sick kids
CHEERING and clapping was heard from the hall at Walloon State School when the razor shaved off Jess Finan's shoulder-length brunette hair.
The Ipswich mum and teacher bravely chose to have the big shave before the entire school to help raise funds for the Children's Hospital Foundation.
The decision to shave to raise money for sick children stemmed from her own experience.
Her son Max was four months old when he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare type of cancer that begins in the back of the eye.
"When the doctor sent us off to Brisbane for a scan, I didn't think much of it. But when we were told about the cancer, it was an absolute shock," the mum of two said.
"It was really scary."
In his short life, Max, now 2, has undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments, as well as laser eye treatments and cryotherapy.
"The cancer was in both of Max's eyes, but they have managed to save the sight in his left eye," Mrs Finan said.
"In his right eye, he has little vision.
Sadly, the tumours in Max's eyes continue to grow, so the family must travel interstate to see the only doctor in the country who specialises in a new type of chemotherapy which they hope will save his right eye.
"We are going to Melbourne so Max can receive a different type of chemotherapy. There's only one person in Australia who can do this, so we are heading down on September 25 for two nights," Mrs Finan said.
"This doctor has been practising this type of chemotherapy for about five years, but globally it has been around for 10 years.
"We were saving and looking forward to a family holiday, but we need to do this for Max."
The family are using their own funds to travel interstate.
All money raised from students, parents and colleagues from Walloon State School will be donated to help other families with children facing their own health battles.
"We have raised more than $4000 for the Children's Hospital Foundation," Mrs Finan said.
"We are so grateful for that support because we like to help the organisations that have helped us along the way.
"Our family and friends have generously helped us, and our support group keeps getting bigger and bigger.
"It's growing beyond people we know."
Mrs Finan is a fan of her new look, saying "I like it a lot".