As difficult as it is to gauge the mind of any child, most of wouldn’t assume that seven-year-olds could turn their tremendous energy to cancer fundraising.
Grace Watterson, aged seven, is doing exactly that, raising money for the Kids’ Cancer Project while donating her hair to make wigs for children with cancer.
“Cutting her hair was a decision she made on her own,” said her mum, Bec Ruttley. “It’s all been her idea, she wanted to donate her hair to children. She’s a very bright little girl.”
Grace will have her locks lopped tomorrow at St Joseph’s Primary School. In conjunction with Grace’s big haircut, the school will be holding a crazy hair day.
“Kids can have weird and wonderful hair and it’s a gold coin donation to participate,” Ms Ruttley said. “The school has been absolutely amazing. We approached them to let them know what we wanted to do and they’ve been so helpful. Graeme [Principal Graeme Urquhart] is just fantastic.
“Hayley from Belinda’s Beauty Shoppe is going to be cutting her hair. Grace’s hair will be cut to her shoulders. It has to be 30 centimetres long to donate it. She is very excited.”
The choice of charity was very important for the family.
“We chose the Kids Cancer Project because the founder Col Reynolds had a lot to do with Alice Sjollema.”
The Sjollemas were close family friends of Ms Ruttley’s family. Alice died in 1993 of leukaemia, at the age of six.
“The day Ally died she asked for me. I was only six months old. She sat up with me all day – it was the first time she’d sat up for weeks. That night when Mum got home she had a phone call to say Alice had gone,” Ms Ruttley said.
“Grace’s middle name is actually after Ally, she’s Grace Alice. Ally’s mum is coming over to watch Grace get a haircut. She’s always been very hands on – she even donated money herself towards Grace’s fundraiser.”
At the time of printing, Grace had raised $541.88 with her online donations page.
“There are two collection tins, one at Terry White Pharmacy and the other at Belinda’s Beauty Shoppe, and people are planning to donate on the day. But our goal was $500 and we have got that.”