WHEN Lisa Aherne leaves her house, she’s bound to draw a few puzzled glances.
While she had shoulder-length hair last week , she shaved it at Shannon Knights as a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society.
Speaking afterwards at her home in Carrig Hill, she said, “I was sick a couple of years ago and a lot of people fundraised for me and I always thought since then that I’d like to give something back. About five weeks ago, I decided to do it. I put it up on Facebook, got my first donation and I couldn’t go back then.”
On her own illness she says, “I had a tumour in my neck. It wasn’t cancerous but it was potentially deadly because it was wrapped around my carotid artery.
“They couldn’t deal with it in Ireland so I had to go to London to get it sorted. There were two operations in Guy’s Hospital. One of the operations was in May and one was in August but they didn’t get it all so I had to go back about a year later to get some radiotherapy. The fundraising was brilliant then; it helped us a lot.”
More than €20,000 was raised then, which was more than welcome at a very difficult time for her family.
She said the Irish Cancer Society is a cause that’s quite close to her heart at the moment. “We’ve lost four grandparents to cancer in a very short period of time to different types of cancer. I think everyone has lost someone to cancer really.”
At this stage, her own health is quite good. “I’m doing fine. In 2010 I got the all-clear for five years, so this year I’ll have to go back and have a check-up.”
A self-employed hairdresser, Lisa says she is looking forward to experimenting on her new look when it gets a little bit longer.
After a bit of celebrating after the head shave, Sunday was largely a recovery day. On Monday, her scalp was exposed to the weather in a way it hadn’t been previously.
“When I was walking into the town centre yesterday I had a hat on. I met someone down there who asked me could they see the head, so I took the hat off and I didn’t put it back on walking home. I felt it then. It was cold.”
Alfie, her eight-month-old son, hasn’t taken too much notice of the change in his mother.
“Everyone thought he’d be looking at me strange but I normally have my hair tied back with him and he didn’t bat an eyelid.”
By Tuesday, almost €5,000 had been donated and Lisa said she was delighted with the level of support.
“I’m very grateful to Shannon basically, people have donated from England and America too. The support has been brilliant.
“The Shannon Knights were great too. I tried to get it done early enough, so I could relax and have a few drinks afterwards.”