Nana inspires teen’s decision

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A brave Oamaru teen is set to sacrifice her flowing locks in support and memory of cancer patients young and old, including her late grandmother who died from cancer nearly a decade ago.
Thirteen-year-old Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil Xavia Kenneally will get the chop at the Galleon complex at 1.30pm on Saturday.
Asked why she had decided to have the chop, Xavia said it was about others rather than herself.
“I’m doing it because my nana (Karen Diack) – she died of cancer at 51 – and a young girl that had cancer, about two years ago she finished her last chemotherapy treatment and she inspired me.”
Xavia originally planned to have her head shaved last year, but wasn’t able to organise it before the end of the school year.
She admitted to being slightly nervous.
“But I guess it’s for a good cause.
“I pick at my hair so if there is anything sticking out . . . my hair has to be perfect. Once it’s done, I feel like I might cry, but I don’t know. It seems scary now, but once it’s over, I think I’m going to be proud and make cancer patients proud.”
Xavia’s mother, Ebony Kenneally, is proud of what her daughter is doing.
“There are no words to explain how I feel. I’m just so proud of her . . . with having mum die nine years ago, she’s trying to make a difference.”
People can donate to a page set up by Xavia, through Everyday Hero and the Cancer Society. About $200 has been raised so far and Xavia’s target is $900.
It is likely Galleon co-owner David Morris will do the honours with the clippers.
Xavia plans to donate her hair to Freedom Hair, which makes custom wigs.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Shaving your hair off is a daunting prospect at any age, but for teenager Xavia, who is raising money for the Cancer Society, it’s making a difference that counts. _ Melanie Tavendale