Teens surrender tresses for good cause

JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 22/05/2012
Carla Wilson and Brooke Rice
ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ

DOING THEIR BIT: Fifteen-year-old students, Carla Wilson and Brooke Rice shaved their hair off for the Mellowpuff Trust that Kirstie Fairhurst benefited from last year.

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Ready, steady, shave. That was how quickly two teenagers' lives changed yesterday when they lost their long locks for a worthy cause.

Watching 15-year-olds Carla Wilson and Brooke Rice have their heads shaved was schoolmates Kirstie Fairhurst who last year benefited from the Mellowpuff Trust that the girls were raising money for.

Yesterday more than 100 friends and classmates witnessed the girls' courageous stand in support of cancer sufferers and Kirstie was one of many to shed a tear as they watched on.

The Mellowpuff Trust was set up almost six years ago by Terry and Tanya Long, parents of Melissa Long who lost her battle with leukaemia five years after she was first diagnosed.

In the first five years of the trust operating, more than 50 children have been made to feel special for a day.

For Kirstie that meant a specially built trike for her to get around after losing the use of her legs in an accident at age 4.

Yesterday's efforts raised $250 for the trust and the money is still flowing in.

Carla and Brooke chose to shave their heads this week because they had known Melissa and today is the sixth anniversary of her death.

There were tears before and after the big shave as Melissa was remembered, combined with the anticipation and excitement of the event.

More than 100 students were at the New Plymouth Girls' High School gymnasium filling buckets with donations.

There are still more donations to come and the duo hope to reach their target of $1000 by the end of the week.

Both girls admitted it didn't seem real when they woke yesterday morning knowing it would be the last time they brushed their hair for a few months.

"We talked about doing this last year but it never really happened and then this year it got real and all of a sudden it was going ahead and we were doing it," Carla said.

Mr Long spoke highly of the girls, whom he knows well, and said he and his wife, Tanya, were shocked when they asked if they could go ahead with the idea.

"Young females shaving their hair is a really big thing and it takes a lot of courage," he said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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