Jenny’s head shave honours mum’s cancer fight
A YATE woman has had her head shaved to raise money after her mother survived breast cancer.
Jenny Thomas decided to help the charity which supported mum Rowena Knibbs, when she was treated for the disease last year.
It is the second time Jenny, 35, has lost her locks to help Macmillan Cancer Support, which provides physical, emotional and financial support to cancer patients and their families.
But her previous fundraising happened before the “incredibly shocking” experience of seeing her mum diagnosed.
Jenny, pictured above with her mum, says her family is “relieved” that Rowena, 65, is now officially in remission.
She said: “Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in early May of last year after she noticed an unusual dimple underneath her breast.
“It was incredibly shocking, as I never thought anything like that would happen to my Mum and it just felt incredibly surreal.”
Rowena had a lumpectomy followed by five weeks of radiotherapy, which ended two days before Christmas.
Jenny supported her all the way through. She said: “I spent a lot of time with her talking about her fears and trying to put a positive spin on what was happening, and what would happen.”
After her treatment, Rowena had to have a biopsy on another lump, but it came back negative, and she’s now been signed off from check-ups for a year.
Jenny decided to undergo the Brave the Shave challenge again on April 13 because of the support her mum received from Macmillan’s leaflets after she was diagnosed.
The first time was in 2015, in memory of her grandmother, who died of breast cancer before Jenny was born. She also felt it was a way of supporting all the people she knows who’ve been affected by cancer.
Jenny before and after her head shave
Jenny admits that it was a “strange experience”, which she found enjoyable and exciting four years ago but this time left her feeling really nervous.
Jenny said: “I went to my current hairdressers Hannah's Hair Salon, in Brimsham Park, and Hannah let me shave the first bit off, which was a really bizarre feeling.
“My husband was there taking photos and filming some clips, and all three of us were laughing and had lots of fun.
“As soon as it was done, I felt really relaxed and although I will be growing it out, I actually quite like the way it looks.”
Jenny wants to help other families in a similar situation, so being able to raise funds is really important to her. In 2015 she raised just over £1,000.
She currently has a fundraising page and has had lots of support on social media. She’s raised £640 so far through online and offline donations but hopes to bring in more.
Jenny said: “I would love to see the money go towards helping Macmillan support people and their loved ones when they are diagnosed and receiving treatment. It can be a very lonely time and that support can make a huge amount of difference.”