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News & Events November 27, 2020

“I do have quite a bit of trepidation and my husband’s ready to leave me.”

Risking marital ructions and despite nerves, Perth Rotary Club President Jill Dawson had her head publicly shaved with six others in the Duxton ballroom on Thursday Nov 26 raising more than $110,000 for cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Professor Peter Leedman, Director of the Institute said Jill’s commitment was extraordinary when you considered her story.

“Earlier this year Jill was diagnosed with cancer but her treatment involved surgery, not chemotherapy, so she didn’t lose her hair as so many do, but here she was lining up to be shaved.”

In February she committed to be a part of a group shave with the President of Crawley Rotary, Karin Cable and members from both clubs.

“Five days later I found myself in a doctor’s surgery being told I had cancer.”

“I was told I had an unusual cancer for a woman, it was aggressive and the morbidity rates were high. That was 11.30 in the morning and by 3.30 in the afternoon I was in surgery.”

Despite not having chemotherapy Jill’s recovery hasn’t been smooth.

“The brave shave for me is personal and I saw it as an opportunity to lead by example and to make a difference. For me personally I want to have a hands-on practical difference, I don’t want to raise awareness, I actually want to do something.”

Businessman Shane Wee also sacrificed his much-loved locks for charity and has so far raised more than $55,000.

“We have all been affected by this disease in some way or another.  For me, my father had prostate cancer and over time, it spread to his bones and eventually took his life.

“My mother in law is currently going through chemo for breast cancer and as family members, we feel so helpless. Just the word cancer puts a chill down anyone’s mind,” he said.

Professor Leedman said cancer researchers at the Perkins investigate the causes and behaviour of cancers from their genetic footprint to analysing tumours using the latest single sequencing.

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