THE past few months have been a roller coaster journey for Strathfieldsaye’s Marks family.
Will Marks, 7, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma last year after discovering a lump in his cheek.
The diagnosis came as a complete shock to his mum Suzie, who initially thought the growth was simply an infection.
Will’s on a course of chemotherapy and is being treated at the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and has only been home to Bendigo a few times since October.
Will’s experience has prompted his mum Suzie to show her support by signing up for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.
Her friend Natalie Johnson is also planning to lop her locks, while Natalie’s children will colour their hair for the fund-raiser.
The women are hoping to co-ordinate their schedules and have earmarked the shave for March 14, but Suzie might have to use the hair clippers in Melbourne rather than Bendigo, depending on Will’s treatment schedule.
“The treatment has been so intensive so we’ve pretty much been there since the start of October,” Suzie said.
“Will’s only been home a few times now so pretty much the children’s hospital has been our home.
“He’s now in remission, but he’s still having chemo until about mid year and then we’ll be home a bit more hopefully.”
Suzie described the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave, a fund-raiser for people living with blood cancer, as a fantastic initiative.
“William is going through treatment at the moment and I thought ‘OK, this is how I can physically show him and all the other kids that are going through it my support,” she said.
“We didn’t expect something like this to happen at all, we had no idea.
“It started off as a little lump in the cheek and we were going backwards and forwards to the doctor for a few weeks... finally they said, ‘No, no, we’re going to send you off to the Children’s Hospital.
“Basically we went down thinking he’ll be able to have it out and go home and we were told that night that he would be staying and they a did biopsy and that’s when we go the answer.”
Natalie has also been touched by cancer and was quick to put her hand up for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.
She heard Suzie was also planning to participate in the event so decided to get in touch. “We’ve got a history of all different types of cancers in my family and I just thought, ‘Well, I may as well raise some money some way,” she said.
To donate or to find our more information about the cause visit my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au