World’s Greatest Shave

One of our local volunteer Guide Leaders, Angela Leeson, has committed to helping the The World’s Greatest Shave event raise $16.5 million in 2020. This is one of Australia’s biggest fundraisers and assists the Leukaemia Foundation to raise funds for research.

On Thursday, April 30, Angela will have her hair cut and shaved during the weekly virtual Guide meeting. As well as raising funds, Angela will donate her long hair to be used to create wigs.

 

Sponsor Now

 

Angela’s message

I’m taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave for the Leukaemia Foundation! I’m on a mission to shave the world from blood cancer.

Please sponsor me to give families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need. You’ll also fund vital research to help more people survive blood cancers, while improving their quality of life.

Every day another 35 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer. That’s one Aussie every 41 minutes. Although research is improving survival, sadly an Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours.

Will you help by sponsoring me?

Leukaemia

Leukaemia is a cancer of the blood and immune system that prevents them from doing what they need to keep us healthy. The cause is unknown and it is one of the leading causes of death by cancer in our country. Each year, 35 Australian’s are told they have blood cancer. That’s one person every 41 minutes. Sadly, 20 of these people lose their life to blood cancer each day.

The Leukaemia Foundation has set a bold goal of having zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035.  To help achieve this, all funds collected are used for research to find better treatments and cures for:

  • leukaemias (the group of cancers that develop in the bone marrow)
  • lymphoma (the group of cancers tht develop in the lympatic system)
  • malemona
  • and related blood diseases.

Since starting in 1998, the foundation have so far raised over $200 million to help beat blood cancer.

You can help by

  • donating
  • buying raffle tickets
  • shaving their hair
  • colouring their hair
  • waxing
  • or having a creative hair style

 

The Story of Jessica Harbridge

(as told by her Mum)

Jessica Harbridge and her sister Samantha were both Girl Guides with the Delacombe Junior Guides and 1st Sebastopol Guide units  (Jessica for 5 years and Samantha for 10 years)

This is her story of her cancer journey.

In the winter of 2015 Jessica came down with a cough that sounded like a seal.  She attended five different doctors whose diagnosis went … croup, whopping cough, severe asthma, common cold to’ all in your head’. When she began to have trouble not only with eating but also taking fluids, we took her to Ballarat Base Hospital where they performed an x-ray followed by a CT scan.  They discovered a 17cm mass sitting in Jessica’s chest.

A biopsy was performed that indicated Jessica had T-Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (a rare form of blood cancer) and was required at Royal Melbourne Hospital immediately. As soon as she was admitted they began chemotherapy.

We were lucky that the Leukaemia Foundation had accommodation nearby. Once Jessica was stable, after being in ICU for breathing difficulties, she began 9 months of intensive treatment as an outpatient 3 or 4 times a week. During this period the Leukaemia Foundation nominated Jessica as a local hero for a photography company as her 21st birthday was coming up and she had just become engaged (2 weeks prior to diagnosis).

During these months of treatment, the Leukaemia Foundation had a support worker for us to talk to and she helped us as much as possible. A lot of people don’t realise that this Foundation also has volunteer drivers that chauffeur patients to appointments for no charge. We even used it to
go from Ballarat to Melbourne and back.

Jessica was eventually classified as being in remission which meant monthly trips to Melbourne for treatment. During her remission she ran the ‘Light the Night’ event for the Leukaemia Foundation in Ballarat in the October.  In January 2017, on one of the monthly visits, they found her cough had returned and did a PET scan. Unfortunately, it had come back. This was followed by inpatient treatment that resulted in strange side effects. In the April they decided that chemo was not the way to go and instead changed her treatment to radiation.

On June 7th we were informed that there was nothing more to be done and we went home.  On June 12th, Jessica passed away at home in our arms. During all this journey Jessica continued studying a Double Bachelor in Business and Management.  Two days prior to her passing she was told she had graduated her University course which was her aim.

A special graduation ceremony was held at Jessica’s funeral, attended by over 300 people where we also raised money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Jessica touched a lot of souls and her legacy lives on.

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