On Thursday 10 March, during our CAS Swimming Assembly, Thomas Carey (Year 9) took a brave step and shaved his head as part of the World’s Greatest Shave. Thomas decided to do this after his sister Elisabeth was diagnosed with leukaemia. Sadly, Elisabeth passed away within a month of her diagnosis in September last year.
Thomas’ bravery and strength has inspired many people, including the Waverley College CAS Swim Team. Many of their number, including their captain Adam Lawther also had their heads shaved this week in support of Thomas and this important cause.
Thomas, we as a school are so proud of all the incredible work you are doing to raise awareness for this cause. You are an inspiration and we stand beside you to change the future of blood cancer.
Below is the speech that Thomas gave during the assembly:
Hi, my name is Thomas Carey. Today I am having my head shaved as part of the World’s Greatest Shave. This is in support of the Leukaemia Foundation which offers support and help with medical research into blood cancers.
Just over 7 months ago, my family was affected when we found out my sister was diagnosed with leukaemia. At this time charities and foundations, such as The Leukaemia Foundation, Red Kite and Canteen supported us. They provided information and empathy that helped us with the initial shock.
Unfortunately, my sister had complications and with her reduced immune system she couldn’t fight back and she passed away.
By doing the World’s Greatest Shave I can help to raise awareness and funds so that others can be supported by the Leukaemia Foundation.
I started this with the goal of reaching $1,200, as this would provide two weeks of transport for people who are too ill to travel after chemotherapy. Through the support of friends and family and their friends, I have been lucky to raise over $13,000. This means that The Leukaemia foundation can support over 300 families to help them get over their initial shock plus provide other valuable services such as blood cancer research.
I’d like to thank Waverley College for supporting me and my family during these times.
Thomas’s fundraising has now exceeded $20,000.
Further information about the Leukaemia Foundation
The impact that blood cancer has in our society is devastating. Today, 34 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with a form of blood cancer – that is more than 12,000 people every year. With few clearly identified risk factors and sometimes no real warning, the impact is immense for the person and their loved ones.
Treatment for blood cancer can range from months, to several years and generally lasts longer than treatment for other cancers. While decades of research have improved survival, sadly, as we have heard today, not everyone survives.
As Thomas mentioned, the Leukaemia Foundation provides incredible support to families who are dealing with blood cancer. They provide emotional and practical support absolutely free of charge. This includes counselling, transport to and from chemotherapy treatment and accommodation for regional families who need to relocate to the city for treatment.
The Leukaemia Foundation are not only on a mission to care, they have a vision to cure the disease and are urgently funding research to save lives. The Leukaemia Foundation rely on the support of the community to fund their activities. You can support Thomas by sponsoring him at https://bit.ly/1pwxEhU.
Photos by Sheridan Nilsson