Posted in Chaplaincy
Hair loss during cancer treatment can affect patients in profound ways, because it’s a visual indicator of the challenging situation that they are in.
Pentland State School Chaplain Kieron Jarvis knows this all too well.
“One of the main motivators [for this fundraiser] was that my wife had breast cancer and eventually passed away from it,” Kieron says.
When Chappy Kieron heard of a local family’s circumstances, with the mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer, he didn’t hesitate in committing to shave his head, arms and legs to raise much-needed funds.
“I know what the journey is like and a lot of the unseen struggle that goes on. So I like to think I understood their circumstances in a way that most people wouldn’t necessarily understand it,” he says.
“The family’s been coming to the school for about a year. I found out about the mother’s breast cancer last year and knew that she would need to travel to Townsville for treatment. I also knew they didn’t have a lot of money so I thought it would be a good idea to try and raise some money for them.”
Regular travel from Pentland to Townsville, 3 hours’ drive east, would put pressure on the family’s already low finances. So Kieron managed to raise almost two thousand dollars to make this burden a lot less significant.
“The Pentland Race Day, on Saturday, November 27th, is the biggest day on the social calendar up here. So we arranged to do the shave at the races. It was also a good public venue to let those who had contributed see the results of their contribution.
“The family has been most grateful and most appreciative of it. I think they just appreciate someone that cares a bit.”
Taking this extraordinary commitment one step further, Chappy Kieron has vowed to keep his hair very short for the duration of the mother’s treatment, as a demonstration of solidarity for the family and what they’re going through.
“I’ve committed to keep my hair shaved until she no longer needs the treatment. I’m going over it with the clippers every couple of weeks to keep it nice and short as a visible reminder that she’s still going through the treatment.”
Due to other health issues that this young family has encountered, they have since had to move to Brisbane for treatment, away from their support network in Pentland.
“This is all the more reason why the locals need a visible reminder that she is still undergoing treatment,” says Kieron.
Despite all the hard work collecting donations and encouraging people to support this family, Chappy Kieron has found the whole process very beneficial, not only to the family but him personally.
“It’s very rewarding…to show these people that you care. It is very rewarding knowing that you are making a difference, knowing that you’re helping some of these people who need a helping hand and touching someone else’s life who needs the help.”
SU QLD chaplains are all extraordinary people with a genuine passion and heart for the communities in which they work. Thank you, chappies, for everything you do!