Sierra Knopke shaved her hair to help raise funds for Leukaemia research. Picture: Sam Reynolds
Sierra Knopke shaved her hair to help raise funds for Leukaemia research. Picture: Sam Reynolds

Leukaemia survivor shaves for a cure

FOR some, shaving off all their hair would be a tough decision, but for Sierra Knopke, 16, it was an easy one.

On Friday, Sierra said goodbye to her blonde locks during Gladstone State High School’s World’s Greatest Shave event, raising money for a cause close to her heart.

In May 2016, Sierra was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Her mum, Evelyn, said it was an incurable form of the cancer, which means Sierra will be on chemotherapy until a cure is found.

Sierra Knopke and mum Evelyn Knopke before the big shave
Sierra Knopke and mum Evelyn Knopke before the big shave

“That’s what we hope the fundraising will help with,” Evelyn said.

“And (Sierra) knows it’s bringing awareness that children do face cancer as well.”

She said the chemotherapy tablet Sierra was on didn’t cause a loss of hair, but was nervous about the shave.

“We see so much at the Oncology ward with other children who have lost their hair involuntarily and how upsetting it can be for them,” Evelyn said.

Sierra was also nervous about the shave, but said she was also excited.

“It’s special to support something and to show others aren’t alone,” Sierra said.

Through fundraising barbecues, a raffle and donations from family and friends, Sierra raised more than $1200 for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Evelyn said it was great to see the community get behind Sierra’s fundraising efforts.

Sierra Knopke gets her head shaved for World's Greatest Shave
Sierra Knopke gets her head shaved for World's Greatest Shave

Three other students also took the plunge to shave their heads at the school’s event, which is held annually.

Teacher Judy Dutton said the school participated so it could support the Leukaemia Foundation and contribute to the community.

“It also helps people that actually need help,” Ms Dutton said.

“There’s some students that are survivors, it’s about being able to put money back into helping people in the future.”

To help Sierra’s fundraising, visit worldsgreatestshave.com and search for Sierra Knopke.