Penny and Emma created Team Park Balding to participate in Head Shave for Cancer Research and to support ACRF. Both women have a background in science and grasp the importance and impact of scientific research. They chose to raise money for ACRF because of the organisation’s funding of research into all cancers.
“We didn’t want to be exclusive in terms of the type of cancer when we were fundraising as all cancers are impactful and distressful to humanity.”
Penny: Cancer is such a tricky disease to treat and cure. By doing this event for ACRF I hope to contribute to the research that will make life easier for cancer patients and their families. As a scientist in the biomedical field, I am passionate about unravelling the complexities of diseases and using science to improve lives. By facing the challenge head-on with passionate and diligent science, hopefully, we can eventually leave harsh treatments behind and find a cure.
Emma: At some point in life we will all be affected in some way by cancer and yet it is so easy to feel alone or that you stand out during that battle. Penny and I have both seen how devastating cancer is in society and how it impacts on people’s lives. Losing people prematurely to this disease has been a motivator to take action to help further cancer research.
“We both chose to do the shave partly because it’s been shown to be a really successful way of fundraising. We also felt that it was a great call to arms to jump on board as it’s a big commitment and personal change for us to make which showed everyone how seriously we felt about fundraising for cancer.”
Emma: Shaving my head is my way of showing support in the visual sense. Being bald has become a societal flag for a cancer patient and that makes a person’s private battle very public. I hope to show my solidarity with patients with this disease and reduce any feelings of isolation associated with hair loss.
Penny: Hair loss brings with it a unique vulnerability as people often use hair as an expression of vanity or as a shield from the outside world. By removing my hair, I want to show anyone who is dealing with this disease that they don’t have to stand out on their own. I also want to symbolise the cutting back of obstacles and barriers that can obscure our clear view and understanding of cancer, which is what more and more research funding will be able to do for the reality of cancer in the future.
“We wish for a future where a cancer diagnosis is not fatal. The only way we’re going to make it to that end is if we do some really solid research into various cancers and make sure early diagnosis is more prevalent and therapies are more effective at reducing and removing cancer from the body.”
Team Park Balding had a big turn-out of friends, families, kids and dogs at their Sunday afternoon barbeque and fundraising party at Jell’s Park, Melbourne. Over $5,700 in donations was collected at the event for ACRF and cancer research.
“We are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together and so glad that we undertook this event as a team. It was something really worthwhile to put our energy into. Raising funds was tangible, and there was our sense of accomplishment and pride to actually go through with the head shave.”
Share your story