St Ita’s student braves the shave for cancer research

St Ita's, Dutton Park

​Elena Ocana-Morton lost her locks while principal Greg Cran went pink for the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave for a Cure.​​

LOSING your hair is nothing to cheer about, but for one student at St Ita’s School, Dutton Park, it was definitely a euphoric experience.

To loud roars of approval from her fellow students, Elena Ocana-Morton raised more than $6000 as she lost her hair in the Leukaemia Foundation’s World's Greatest Shave for a Cure.​

She also won the right to dye Principal Greg Cran’s hair for surpassing her goal of $5000.

Wearing now bright pink hair, Greg said he was amazed at the courage Elena showed while having her hair shaved.

“She’s a very brave girl,” he said.

“She wasn’t fazed at all to lose her hair, just happy and excited that she was able to help others in such difficult situations.

“I’m sure that first step having her long plaits taken off must have been rough but once her father began the shave, she looked more comfortable.

“She looks great and it was a fantastic for such a young girl to do something like that, to take all her hair off.”

Greg said it took a lot of courage to do what she did.

“To support the people that she’s supporting, like her grandfather and one of our teachers diagnosed with cancer showed what a thoughtful girl she is.

“She came up with the idea herself and worked with us here at the schools and we’ve run with it and supported her all the way until the actual shave.”

Every day, 34 Australians are diagnosed with Leukaemia, which is the third biggest cause of cancer death in Australia.

The money raised through the World's Greatest Shave for a Cure helped support leukaemia patients and their families when they needed it most and was also used for research to find better treatments and cures.

Greg said it was fantastic to see the school community getting behind Elena's efforts.

“We teach our students about justice and social justice, about helping support the community.

“For them to get behind this was and raise so much money was amazing.

“I’m really proud of the parents here many who turned up on the day to cheer Elena on.”

Rubbing her shaven head Elena said her head felt lighter, but it also felt colder.

She admitted to feeling a little nervous as the hour approached to remove her flowing locks in front of the whole school.

However, she said it was worth it, knowing the money she raised would assist in the care, and possible cure, of patients living with leukaemia.

Elena said the cause was something that was very close to her heart.

She said her grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer the previous year and also a teacher at the school and she had watched the school librarian who had lost all her hair while being treated for the disease.

She said it was amazing to have the support of all the staff and students in her efforts.

“It felt great to know that they all cared.

“I feel blessed that the school community has supported me so much and helped me surpass my $5000 goal.

She also donated her hair to help make wigs for people who had lost their hair because of chemotherapy.

Elena said it was also funny to colour Mr Cran’s hair.

“It was bright pink, and he looked beautiful once it was finished,” she said.

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