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Yvonne braves the shave for charity


By Jean Gunn


A HAIR raising total of £2345.80 was raised for charity thanks to local woman Yvonne Rathbone who recently braved the shave.

Speaking after the event, Yvonne, who lives at Georgemas, said: "It is amazing, I am absolutely over the moon. The support has been great, it is very heart warming.

"I would have loved to have raised £500 – I thought, I wont set a target in case I don't raise it."

Her generous act will benefit three charities – Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, Parkinson's UK and the Caithness branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), where she volunteers.

Yvonne decided to get the chop at the Ross Institute in Halkirk on November 19, as it marked the tenth anniversary of the death of her sister Mal to pancreatic cancer.

She explained that 40 years ago only three per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survived longer than five years and that percentage remains the same today.

"Diagnosis is so difficult, so any research into early diagnosis would greatly improve chances of survival," Yvonne said.

Her second charity is Parkinson UK, a disease she sadly lost her mum to in 2004, aged 84.

One in 350 adults in the UK suffer with Parkinsons and as yet there is no cure for this progressive brain condition.

"I wanted to do something in my own way to help raise money to help fund research for both these causes and raise awareness," Yvonne said.

Funding for the first two charities was done online via Virgin Money Giving.

She picked a local group as her third charity, the RDA where she helps out with at the indoor school in Halkirk on a Wednesday morning.

The volunteer has already raised £1000 off line for this local cause, saying: "Our group works with many many local young students with various physical, emotion and mental needs.

"The RDA is a fantastic family of volunteers and relies solely of the good will of others for it's funding. Trust me the sheer joy and pride seen in the smiles of the children each week is priceless. So I have to fund raise for them."

Pointing out that she didn't feel up to tackling something like a charity run as a fundraiser, she said: "I thought about the many thousands of people who lose their hair due to the effects of chemotherapy, as a lovely friend of mine did. I thought, that if they can go through all that with the strength in their heart then, I certainly could.

"Some friends say I am brave – not really. Some say I am bonkers – perhaps but, I am definitely going bald!"

Commenting on the RDA motto she added: "It's what you can do that counts."

Describing how she felt after the big event, Yvonne said: "The following morning was a bit of a shock when I woke up, you don't realise how much you actually touch your head."

To help keep her warm a number of friends have knitted woolly hats for her, including one which was made with home spun wool.

A fantastic number of local folk turned out for the event, with many of Yvonne's friends from the Halkirk indoor bowling club, of which she is a keen member, coming along to help boost funds.

Refreshments and cakes were organised by Gillian Gunn and Liz Hewitson, while tasked with the head shaving was village hairdresser Leanne Eyers.

A raffle was also held and the morning of the event alone raised £478.



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