Braving the Shave for MacMillan Cancer Support | Macro

Braving the Shave for MacMillan Cancer Support

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By Ingrid Hamstead, Front of House Supervisor, Macro

This summer saw a large increase in the number of people shaving their heads. It wasn’t the latest craze to keep cool in the summer sun; it was in fact MacMillan Cancer Support’s August fundraising campaign ‘Brave the Shave’ where people were asked to grab their clippers and shave their hair off, standing proudly alongside men and women with cancer. 

Ingrid Hamstead, the Front of House Supervisor was one of the brave who took part.  Here’s her inspiring story… 

“The MacMillan Cancer Care nurses helped to support my family before my father-in-law passed away. It meant that he spent the last week of his life at home.  The nurses became part of our family for those last few weeks and they went above and beyond the call of duty to help. 

I wanted to try and give a little back to this fantastic charity so that this type of care can be kept going for other people.  98% of all funding comes from people fundraising, which supports those in need to get through this disease, whatever the outcome may be. 

I checked with my employer and client if it was ok to do this, especially important as I am front of house, but they were completely supportive.  Although I’m not someone who enjoys the limelight, I decided to do the shave in the office, which would attract more attention and raise more money.  

So it was set, 2pm on a Friday afternoon, in the Presentation Theatre, no less!  The theatre seemed vast, and there was one lone chair waiting for me at the back of the room.  It felt like hours, but within 15 minutes it was all done.  I’d put my hair into four plaits and four different people had the honour of chopping them off.  These were donated for wig-making purposes, for people who have lost their hair through cancer.  Then the shave happened.  First the back, then before I knew it all of my hair was gone and my head was shaved. 

The audience’s reaction was great, everyone oo’ed and ah’d as more hair fell down and culminated in a great round of applause.  I took a look.  I was shocked at first, but was then pleased to see that I didn’t have any unexpected scars or odd lumps and bumps.  It was in quite good shape really. 

The strangest feeling were the looks you receive from people who don’t know you have done this for charity.  People look at you with a strange sympathetic look but also with a kind of half look which is so uncomfortable for both people.  There has only been one person who did not know I had shaved my head for charity and asked had I been unwell.  I was so pleased she asked the question, it meant that it was out in the open and it left the situation a lot less uncomfortable.  I have had an amazing response from my family, friends and colleagues, everyone has been so positive towards this. People have said it looks great and funky and that it suits me so on the whole it isn’t so bad. 

I can only imagine what it is like for people who are facing this terrible disease without having to work through other people’s pity and awkwardness but being so self-conscious that your hair has gone.  As a cancer patient you don’t choose to lose your hair it is part of what happens, part of what you have to go through in order to hopefully get rid of this disease.  I chose to do this to help raise funds to support people who are really brave who are living and have lived with this terrible disease.  My hair will grow back I don’t have this disease I am one of the lucky ones. 

Talking to different people along the way, whilst preparing to do this, there are so many people affected by this disease the ripples spread far and wide it is undiscriminating to the young, old, rich and poor and this makes it such an unfair terrible disease.” 

You may be relieved to know that Brave the Shave is over for now, so you won’t be asked to take part, during this year at least.  However, you can show your support by donating to Ingrid’s campaign.  Just click here.

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