PUBLISHED: 20:05 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 20:05 26 August 2019
Cattle handler Laura Marsh, 21, had her head shaved for the Macmillan cancer charity at the Aylsham Show. Pictured: Laura, centre, with her parents Andrew and Wendy. Picture: Chris Hill
A Norfolk cattle handler’s 23-inch long hair has been shaved off in public to raise money for a cancer charity – and to supply a valuable resource for chemotherapy patients.
Laura Marsh, from Binham near Wells, “braved the shave” while being cheered on by hundreds of onlookers at the 2019 Aylsham Show at Blickling, where she was shorn by livestock judges and stewards to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
But her long hair will not go waste, as it will be donated to the Little Princess Trust be turned into natural wigs for cancer patients who have lost their own hair during chemotherapy treatments.
The 21-year-old said she was determined to help people suffering with a disease which has had an impact on her family.
“I have had family members who have died from cancer, or recovered from it, so I have been thinking about Brave the Shave for a couple of years,” she said.
“I found out this year that my mother’s friend has been diagnosed with cancer, which made it all the more important. I thought if I don’t do it this year, I’ll never do it.
“One of the reasons is they are always looking for natural hair to make wigs. My hair is quite long, but it will grow back quickly so I wanted to give what I can.
“It is around 23 inches long in a pony tail, but we are going to shave it all off to ‘grade one’. If you are doing it, you might as well go all the way.”
Miss Marsh is a housekeeper at the Crown Hotel in Wells, but she also has an animal science and welfare qualification and helps her parents Andrew and Wendy Marsh to demonstrate their Holstein dairy cattle on show days.
The Aylsham Show was a successful day out for the farm, with one of their milking cows winning the top interbreed dairy title.
By the time Miss Marsh, now shaven-headed, led her family’s champion dairy cow into the main ring at the head of the grand parade of cattle, the total raised from sponsorship and bucket collections had topped £1,200 – six times her original target of £200.
– To donate, see Laura’s fundraising page on the Macmillan Cancer Support “Brave the Shave” website.
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