AN INCREDIBLE 13-year-old who sheared her 3ft 4in long locks for Prospect Hospice has opened the way for many more to follow her example and shave their heads in aid of thousands of terminally-ill patients.
Carly Bohane, of Eldene, took the bold step in memory of her father Danny, who died at the age of 43 of bowel cancer at the Wroughton charity. She was just nine months old.
Danny, a well-respected Honda production co-ordinator, would have celebrated his 56th birthday on Friday.
Although overcome with tears as the hairdresser prepared to cut off her waist-length ponytail, the teenager did not allow her fear to overwhelm her.
Her determination paid off tenfold as she raised £1,541 for the hospice that cared for her father in his last moments – £1,000 more than her initial target.
“I wanted to do something for Prospect and what made me want to do this was seeing Jessie J shave her hair,” she said. “Before it I was really terrified and I cried. When she cut off my ponytail I thought ‘It’s happening, I can’t back out.’ It was a shock to see all my hair fall.
“But it’s actually not as scary as you think it will be. It felt nice when it was happening. I always had long hair and I had it trimmed but I never had a proper haircut so it felt different. Now I’m not really sure how I look. I think it’s a bit weird but that’s because I’m not used to it.”
Carly before the big chop
Her head shave at Eldene Centre even prompted a club member to get a Mohawk in exchange for donations to Carly.
Her mother Sue, 46, was tremendously impressed with her daughter’s resolve and courage.
“It was very emotional,” she said. “Everybody was crying. There was a point where I thought she wouldn’t do it. She was crying and shaking.
“My daughter Stevie works in Sunderland and said she couldn’t come but she surprised us all by coming anyway. Stevie held her hand the whole time and she did it.
“I am mega proud of her especially because girls her age are really into their hair and makeup. When she told me she wanted to do it she said ‘It’s only hair, it’s going to grow back’.
More residents inspired by Prospect’s work are planning to have their heads shaved for the Adver’s 160 Appeal in aid of the charity. Matt Doyle, of Stratton, will be one of the first fundraisers to step into JJ’s salon in Havelock Square on July 1 to have his hair completely shaved.
“I’m going to miss my hair and my budgie will too because he sits on my head and he won’t be able to do that anymore.”
Zurich Community Trust will match every pound donated to Matt by 50 per cent. To sponsor him go on www.justgiving.com/matt-doyle1 or text veev82 with the amount you wish to donate to 70070.
The Adver is inviting Swindonians to have their heads shaved for the 160 Appeal. To sign up or for more details contact Rachael Youd at email@example.com.