THE long thick curls which Merinda Eden had been lovingly growing for the past two years were gone within minutes.
Surrounded by family and friends, the year 11 student from Mulwaree High School sat on a hairdressing stool in Jason’s Barber Shop and Beardery on Monday afternoon and watched as one her most defining characteristics fell to the floor.
Her mother, Melissa, stood by a back wall watching in a state of overwhelming pride, inspired by her daughter’s courage.
“She is so brave… I’m such a proud mother,” she said.
The journey for Merinda began in September 2009, when her mother Melissa was diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ), a form of breast cancer that accounts for up to one fifth of all breast cancers.
“I’m doing it for Mum,” Merinda told the Post just moments before the big shave.
During school holidays, Merinda would travel with her parents to accompany her Mum as she underwent radiotherapy treatment.
“The many days I sat in the waiting room waiting for my mum, exposed me to see one thing… beautiful women battling this horrible illness.”
Merinda’s campaign ‘Curls for Cancer’ began late last year, with determination to raise as much money for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia and inspire others to do the same.
Donation tins were distributed locally and out of town in places such as Goulburn X-Ray, Century 21, Jason’s Barber Shop, Ellsemere Specialist Centre, Dutallis Saddlery, Dance Central (in Canberra), Coles Myer Logistics, Johnson and Sendall Solicitors and Mulwaree High School.
She campaigned long and hard, speaking on the radio and holding a pizza night at Eagle Boys, where $1 from every pizza bought went to the cause.
“I want to thank my Mum, friends and the community for helping me raise money,” Merinda said.
The campaign is open until March, when the donation tins will be collected and the fundraising total will be tallied.
For more information on how to donate see the event’s Facebook page ‘Curls for Cancer’ or call 4821 9947.