Hair To­day… A close shave fund-raiser

Jane’s de­ci­sion to sup­port her friends cop­ing with breast can­cer led her to a close shave!

My Weekly - - Contents -

By the day it­self, I could hardly be­lieve I had gone sev­eral times over my tar­get!

About five years ago I lost a friend through can­cer. Keris had lost her hair and had been say­ing that she was cold,” ex­plains Jane Means, a gift wrap­ping ex­pert whose cre­ativ­ity has wowed clients around the world and more than a few My Weekly read­ers, too. “I thought about do­ing a spon­sored head shave back then but un­for­tu­nately I left it too late be­fore she sadly died. I went on to ded­i­cate my book Giftwrapped to her

“Then, last Christ­mas I was in Kew Gar­dens on a girlie get-to­gether when my friend Becs told us that she had breast can­cer. She said that she was ab­so­lutely dread­ing los­ing her hair.

“I’d had a cou­ple of Glüh­weins by then and I just turned around to her and said, ‘Do you know what, Becs? I’ll go bald with you’.

“The next morn­ing, I woke up and thought, ‘What on earth have I said?’ But I had to go through with it, I couldn’t back out now.

“I mes­saged Becs and told her that I hadn’t for­got­ten what I had said and that I just needed to li­aise a lit­tle bit with my clients first, be­cause I do a lot of film­ing.

“She was over the moon to know that she would not be on her own. I told her I was go­ing for a proper skinhead, Ko­jak shiny head. I ra­tio­nalised that my hair would grow back to a de­cent length within six months and if I ended up hav­ing to wear a wig for that time, then I was go­ing to have a lot of fun along the way.”

“Then about a month later, an­other friend told me that she had breast can­cer. When a third friend also got can­cer I just thought, ‘That’s it, I need to do this now’.

“I de­cided I’d do it in ten days’ time and, although my main rea­son for do­ing it was to sup­port my friends, I felt I might as well fundraise while I was at it. Becs sug­gested Stand Up To Can­cer so I set up a fundrais­ing ac­count and gave my­self a tar­get of £1,000, call­ing it The Grand Head Shave.”

“Amaz­ingly, I ac­tu­ally hit my tar­get in 5 hours! It was in­cred­i­ble, the money just flew in, sup­ported by gen­er­ous celebri­ties such as Kirstie All­sopp, Ea­monn Holmes and Vic­to­ria Der­byshire who were also men­tion­ing it on so­cial me­dia and re­ally help­ing my cause.

“On the day it­self last March, I could hardly be­lieve that the to­tal had gone sev­eral times over my tar­get.

“My old hair­dresser from Lin­colnshire had asked if she could be the one to shave my head – her mum had can­cer and she said it would re­ally mean a lot to her to do it. She re­ally en­cour­aged the lo­cal com­mu­nity on board, even putting a sign up out­side invit­ing peo­ple in to cut off a sec­tion of my hair for £5.”

“What re­ally gave me a lump in my throat that day was the out­pour­ing of grief; peo­ple telling me their sto­ries, send­ing me heart­felt mes­sages to say that they’d re­cently found out they had can­cer, or that they had can­cer but hadn’t told any­one, or even that their mother had died the day be­fore. There was an

ab­so­lute wave of emo­tion that I just hadn’t an­tic­i­pated. Of course, can­cer touches ev­ery­one, and we all know some­body with it or who has died from it.”

“Af­ter hav­ing my head shaved, I felt re­ally in­vig­o­rated. I love hav­ing my hair cut any­way, it is like ‘out with the old and in with the new’. I thought great, I have a blank can­vas here now, and I can do what I like, I can ex­per­i­ment and I’m go­ing to have loads of fun. I wanted to make be­ing bald quite cool and to put a pos­i­tive spin on it. Af­ter­wards I did feel re­ally cold though. I had to wear a hat all the time, in­clud­ing when I was in bed!”

“I raised over £10,000 with my head shave and I was re­ally chuffed with that. It feels so re­ward­ing to have sup­ported such a good cause. Not ev­ery­one wants to go to the same ex­treme, but we can all do some­thing to help. I didn’t ac­tu­ally do it for the pub­lic­ity but it has cer­tainly helped to raise aware­ness, in­clud­ing mine, about breast can­cer is­sues.”

“Would I do it again? I would, ac­tu­ally! My hair has grown back so thick. If I get

Get­ting her hair sec­tioned off… …to cut off a sec­tion at £5 a pop!

Jane Means

Brav­ing the shave

thin­ning hair when I’m older, I’m just go­ing to get my head shaved!”Jane’s fundrais­ing page for Stand Up To Can­cer is at JUST­GIV­ING.COM/FUNDRAIS­ING/ JANE-MEANS

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