Busselton Senior High School student Lillian Gordon has witnessed first-hand the wonders of modern medicine and the power of research.
The 16-year-old will be shaving her head as part of the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.
Lillian’s motivation for the cause is her mother’s partner, Graeme Johnson.
Mr Johnson was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2015.
At the time, he was given three months to live.
Almost three years later, Mr Johnson credits new treatments for aiding his fight.
“Immunotherapy has done me well, I’ve gone from being inoperable stage four in my lymph nodes and a spot on my liver to now just having scar tissue from radiation,” he said.
“I still get fortnightly treatments and when I have my next scan we will see where I am at.
“I had four rounds of chemotherapy, 30 treatments of radition and now immunotherapy, and I’m okay, I’m still here.”
He said Lillian’s decision to fundraise and shave her head was admirable.
However, the teenager said it was people who were battling cancer that inspired her.
“I’ve always seen people do it and I wanted to do it but I never had the courage,” she said.
“Having someone in the family struggle, built up my courage to do it and made me want to do it more.
“I’m never going to be able to go through what patients go through, but it feels good to be doing something like shaving my head and losing something that might be really important to people.”
Lillian said she was excited and nervous about the shave.
“My natural hair is blonde ringlet curls,” she said.
“I’ve coloured it, straightened it, and dyed it to point that it is dry.
“I’ve never liked it, so I’m excited for a fresh start and hopefully it will grow back in to something that I love.
“The shortest I’ve had it is three inches when I was nine years old so I am nervous.”
The Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave will be held nation-wide from March 14 to 18.
To help Lillian reach her $1000 goal, visit worldsgreatestshave.com.
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