A SCHOOL with 218 students has raised almost $5500 in support of the oncology services at Bendigo Health.
East Loddon P-12 College Year 10 students Sophie Hay, Ella Rowe and Jasmine Condliffe were moved to act after their homeroom teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of March.
Samantha Heaslip was 28 years old and was making plans for her second year of marriage when she found a lump in her breast.
She has since been through chemotherapy and surgery and is expecting to undergo further treatment.
Jasmine said she and her peers were heartbroken when they found out about the diagnosis.
They channeled their efforts into planning a fundraiser in support Bendigo Health, where Mrs Heaslip was receiving treatment.
“It started off small and we didn’t really expect it to get this big,” Ella said.
The school ended up staging a cancer awareness week in October.
There was a ‘Pink Day’, which saw students don their best pink attire.
Staffers and several students also volunteered to have their heads shaved in a separate fundraising event two days later.
One of the participants, from the school’s art department, had not been seen without a facial hair in at least 14 years.
“None of his kids have seen him without facial hair,” fellow teacher Dean Young said.
Another staffer had been sporting facial hair for at least 33 years.
“Between the two of them, their facial hair was about 50 years old,” Mr Young said.
Another of the Year 10 groups involved in the school’s Advance leadership program donated $440 toward the cause.
Ella, Sophie and Jasmine said they were proud of the difference they had been able to make.
They had the opportunity to tour the oncology facilities at Bendigo Health on Friday as they presented their $5402.99 donation.
Mrs Heaslip said she had told anyone who would listen while she was undergoing treatment about the fundraiser her three students had organised.
“I feel like proud’s not a big enough word to use,” she said.
She said the shave day, in particular, was uplifting.
“It was just really nice to see the smiles on everyone’s faces,” the 29-year-old said.
BREAKING NEWS: New Cancer Australia statistics reveal 5-year breast cancer survival rates have increased from 90% to 91%.— NBCF Australia (@NBCFAus) September 10, 2018
With your continued support, our uncompromising goal remains: zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030. Who’s with us? #ZeroBy2030pic.twitter.com/47PKZOec65
Two of the oncology nurses involved in Mrs Heaslip’s care had the honour of picking up the scissors during the shave day.
They, too, were full of praise for the students.
“It’s amazing. They should be super proud of themselves,” Bendigo Health oncology nurse Chloe Bath said.
Mrs Heaslip’s students were keen to see her healthy, happy and back at work.
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