Friends head shave raises thousands for hospital ward where pal is being treated for cancer

Four friends have boldly had their heads shaved to raise money for the oncology ward where their best friend is being treated for ovarian cancer.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 5:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 1:25 pm
L-R Bethany Harris, Michelle Ryan, Tim O'Neill and Katie O'Neill each had their heads shaved to raise money and awareness for ovarian cancer. Picture: Kirsty Edmonds.

Sara Whatley, 36, of Higham Ferres, has to travel every other week to receive treatment at the oncology ward at Charing Cross Hospital after she was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in early December.

The diagnoses was picked up on during her pregnancy and she is now undergoing 14 weeks of treatment.

Husband and wife Tim and Katie O'Neill, from East Hunsbury, along with Bethany Harris and Michelle Ryan, from Milton Keynes, hosted a charity head shave on Friday night at the Garibaldi Hotel to raise money for the ward where Sara is being treated.

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Sara Whatley and Katie O'Neill pictured at the Garibaldi on Friday evening.

Katie said: "March is ovarian cancer awareness month so we kicked it off with a bang and we let cancer know that it can't mess with our girl.

"It was a really good night. It was just amazing. We estimated between the raffle sales and the JustGiving page we have about £3,000.

"We have definitely tripled our original target. We are so thrilled, we could not be happier. The pub was absolutely packed to the rafters."

Katie and Sara worked together as optical assistants back in 2000 at Specsavers and have stayed friends for nearly 20 years.

Katie has gone on to become Sara's maid of honour and the godmother to her baby daughter.

Talking about the head shave Katie joked: "I can now get ready in record time. I've had lots of compliments. I have had people say I look like Sinéad O'Connor, that's great."

Katie's hair was donated to The Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children facing chemotherapy.

"I would do it all again in a heart beat”, she added.

"I have never done anything like this before.

"I have never even had remotely short hair before, actually it's come out quite lovely."

Katie Paton, Second on if The Bophins and The Wax Lyrical Sound all performed on the evening before a raffle draw took place with lots of prizes donated by local companies.

Funds from the raffle will be donated to Imperial Health Charity and the JustGiving page money will be handed over to Charing Cross Research Department.