By Shelby Brooks
Long red locks fell to the floor in an Officer home over the weekend, as Iley Rushton had her head shaved for cancer awareness.
Iley decided to take the plunge and participate in Movember to support her father Graham Rushton who is fighting his fourth cancer diagnosis.
Avid member of the Berwick Bowling Club, Graham previously survived bladder, prostate and bowel cancers, but has now been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.
“He’s doing pretty well and responding well to chemo. The tumour hasn’t shrunk but it also hasn’t grown either,” Iley said.
“Unfortunately, his surgeon has deemed this one incurable so we’re praying for a miracle.”
Graham had the honour of shaving his daughter’s head on Saturday 13 November as Iley’s fundraiser reached over $8000.
“It was amazing though also rather emotional, scary and exciting,” Iley said.
“Dad said while he was doing it, ‘I’m actually really enjoying this!’
“I wasn’t too worried- he couldn’t really get it that wrong.”
Iley said she had a positive response from friends and family to her new ‘do.
“I’ve had a really beautiful response,” she said.
“I had very long red hair and hadn’t had it cut shorter than shoulder length in 20 years.
“So it’s strange but also a beautiful release into a new season of my life.”
Iley and Graham hope by taking part in Movember, they may be able to help others going through a similar experience.
“It was more about raising awareness to other people affected by cancer,” Iley said.
“Men especially, it’s something they’re not always checking for.
“If this story touches someone else, I’ll be happy.”
Iley’s fundraiser is still open for donations.
Her next step is to give herself a ‘stick and poke’ tattoo for reaching over $5000, a new hobby she picked up in lockdown.
Head to au.movember.com/mospace/14548949 to donate.