A new look for a great cause

St Michael’s Catholic Primary School Stanmore student Theo Fernandez recently got his hair cut at a school assembly.

The Year 5 student, who had thick, shoulder-length hair as recently as last year, went bald in March for World’s Greatest Shave.

“I saw an ad [for World’s Greatest Shave] and remembered my grandma, who I never actually met, died from cancer,” Theo said.

“I thought ‘that’d be fun, to shave my head and raise money for cancer’ because it’s a very good cause.”

Theo’s family came into school to watch along with his classmates as his mum shaved his head.

it feels great knowing that what’s happened to you [won’t] happen to anyone else

– Theo Fernandez

“At first I was really nervous because I saw all these eyes just looking at me…but then I realised I’m just shaving my head – it’s nothing too serious.”

Theo’s bravery raised $1,200 for the Leukemia Foundation, who conduct cancer research and care for cancer patients and their families.

Donations were sought through Facebook, the school newsletter and face to face. Theo said friends, family and his school community gave very generously.

“All my friends were very supportive when I told them I was doing it, and they all said I looked great,” he said.

School Principal Allison Travers said Theo’s decision created a teachable moment for all students.

Theo now.

Theo last year.

While Theo had his head shaved, she spoke about why Theo had decided to cut his hair, about cancer, and about what the money raised would do for impacted families.

“We linked it with Lent in terms of thinking about the needs of other people and giving,” she said.

“Theo really demonstrated our school values of courage and respect, so we’re very proud of him.”

Theo said that while the shave itself was nerve-wracking, he’d recommend the experience of going bald for a good cause.

“It is really nice knowing that you’ve donated so much money,” he said, “it feels great knowing that what’s happened to you will hopefully not happen to anyone else.”

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