Bye, Leisa. With love, your hair … 

Hillbrook’s Receptionist and Student Support superstar Leisa Bye is shaving her head at assembly on 26 April 2019 to raise money for Ovarian Cancer.

We had a chat with her to find out why this cause is so close to her heart and how the Hillbrook community can support her.

Leisa, why are you shaving your head?

Cancer has affected those that I love so much throughout my life. In 2015 I lost my 32 year old sister-in-law, Cathy, to brain cancer, who sadly left behind 2 sons who were only 4 and 6 at the time. In 2012, I shaved my head in Cathy’s honour.

Back then, I did it for the ‘World’s Greatest Shave’ campaign and raised $7,500 for Blood Cancer. This time, I was able to choose (thanks to the Hillbrook Giving Tree Foundation) the Women’s Cancer Foundation (WCF), and I have chosen for it to go towards clinical trials for ovarian cancer.

Are you also going to donate your hair?

Yes, I will be donating it via ‘Hair for Heart’ through Variety – it’s ‘just’ long enough for donation.

Why did you choose ovarian cancer to raise awareness for?

For a few reasons. The biggest being Kristen Larsen, a past student who graduated in 2009.  Kristen was diagnosed 5 years ago with ovarian cancer and thanks to clinical trials, such as the one that she is currently on, she is able to spend more time with her loved ones. Clinical trials are a way forward towards hopefully one day discovering a cure for cancer – and in this case, ovarian cancer, where the survival rate isn’t strong. If she is well enough, Kristen will be attending on the 26th to do part of the shave.

The second is my own background, and my extremely high risk of becoming a statistic.

The third is to bring awareness to a cancer that isn’t at the forefront of awareness. Gynaecological cancers aren’t as ‘well-known’ as cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Anything else you want to share?

I have WCF teal ribbons (for ovarian cancer) available for $2 at reception if anyone would like one. I will be presenting on Chapel the week of 18-21 March,  to let them know my why and to bring awareness to cancer, not only ovarian. I also want to show them that the support of our loved ones can make such a difference to those who are suffering. I understand that this may be hard for some of our students to attend, due to personal reasons, and if any parents wish for their child to not attend that presentation we understand.

Stay tuned for the fundraising link, I’d love to surpass my fundraising amount from 2012 and then some!  

If you would like to know a bit more about ANZGOG (Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group) the cancer research organisation behind the trials, please visit their website for more information.