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Clipper generations to become baldy bad girls

Cut above: front from left, Sydney, Tyler and Ella Pethick with Tash and Ros Clipper (Photograph by Renae Stampp)

Three generations of one family are to shave their heads to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

Ros Clipper, her daughter Tash, and grandchildren Ella, Tyler and Sydney Pethick will be sheared to raise money for the St Baldrick’s Foundation next Friday.

The family, who make up the Bald Girls Rule team, decided to make their contribution a family affair after Ella, 10, decided she wanted to shave her head.

Tash said: “This is something that Ella has wanted to participate in for a number of years and we had decided that we were going to choose this year because she is in her last year of upper primary.”

Tash, who shaved her head in 2015, said she was pleased her mother, her two daughters and her son had joined her.

She said: “It is a double-barrel win for me because we are raising money but also showing people that losing your hair is not important.

“You are so much more than your hair and for girls I think that is so important.”

She added: “You shouldn’t have to worry about losing your hair as part of the cancer treatment. There is so much more to focus on in getting better and improving your health.”

The family said they had volunteered in a show of support for people who had lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment.

Ella was motivated to take part after she watched her mom shave her head four years ago after a close friend was diagnosed with cancer.

Tash said: “Ella was very friendly with her as well so that was a very big incentive for Ella to do it.”

Ella added: “That’s why I wanted to do it, I feel happy because I can help Hsian, my mother’s friend, in Canada.”

She said: “I would encourage other children to shave their heads to support people with cancer.”

Ella’s brother Tyler, 9, who watched the event last year also decided to volunteer this year.

Both Ella and Sydney will donate their hair to Locks of Love, a charity which accepts hair donations of at least ten inches and makes them into wigs for children with hair loss owing to medical conditions or treatment.

Tash will donate her hair, too, if it meets the length requirement.

Ros said: “I decided to do it because we want to do this as a family and I am a part of the family.”

The grandmother added: “I am also a nurse and I feel very strongly that there must be a cure out there somewhere and research costs money.

“The more money we can raise the greater the likelihood somebody somewhere will come up with a cure.”

Ros said she also wanted to support families who have had a child diagnosed with cancer.

Ella said she was not worried about her head getting cold and planned to wear hats and Tyler said it was an opportunity to sport his Manchester United headgear more often.

Ella, Tyler and Sydney will be among many other school pupils queuing up to have their heads shaved at the Haygarth Gym at Saltus Grammar School next Friday morning.

The family said they had raised $5,000 of their $15,000 target.

Saltus Grammar School has already raised more than $55,000.

The St Baldrick’s Foundation is dedicated to childhood cancer research and is now the largest private provider of grants for research in the area.