Close cut for great cause
BOWEN'S Crystal Maaka wasn't scared when she looked down the barrel of the razor ready to shave her hair on Monday, just empowered and excited by the chance to raise money for a cause close to her heart.
Ms Maaka had her waist-length hair shaved off on Monday as part of Bowen's Biggest Morning Tea, to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.
She has raised more than $3000 already with more donations still coming in after her close cut.
Cancer prevention is something close to Ms Maaka's heart; her father had invasive surgery in 2017 to remove a stomach cancer.
"My father was diagnosed with stomach cancer in January 2016, and had it removed a year later,” Ms Maaka said.
"It was so tough on all our family, my brother was taking care of finances, I was taking care of appointments and my mum was just doing everything. I want to help and support anyone in this situation.”
Her dad survived the treatment and now enjoys a good bill of health.
However, cancer never left the thoughts of Ms Maaka, inspiring her to take the cut.
Ms Maaka said that she wasn't scared when looking at the scissors as they headed for her hair; she was just emotional at everything it meant to her.
"It felt like I was shaving my head for everyone that doesn't get that choice,” Ms Maaka said.
"There's people who don't get to make the decision if their hair goes, but I was able to have that decision. It's humbling really to be able to do something like that.”
The first cut was made by Ms Maaka's daughter, something that was important to her.
Ms Maaka believes that anyone thinking of doing something similar should "just go for it”.
"If you're not sure you want to do something like this, just do it,” Ms Maaka said.
"It's not only an empowering and amazing thing to be able to do, but I just cut down costs on all my shampoo and conditioner!”
If you would like to donate to Ms Maaka and the Leukaemia Foundation, donations can be made at the Bowen Neighbourhood Centre.