Shave for Ava

$7,675 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 96 people in 10 months
On 17th October 2018, I will "Shave for Ava". I will cut off my signature ponytail and rock a buzz cut like you've never seen before - all to raise money for this precious little girl.

2-year old Ava has been diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma, a very rare and aggressive childhood cancer. She needs life-saving treatment only available from Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC. Vaccine and associated costs are estimated at $350,000.

My son, Hudson and I met Ava at mother's group in 2016. Although we have only seen her and her parents a handful of times, I felt this overwhelming need to help in any way I could. My hope is that these funds will contribute to Ava living a full life and one day she will be able to grow her own ponytail . 

I need your help. Please donate as little or as much as you can and share with your friends and family.

There is no good time to shave your head, but there is no good time to be diagnosed with cancer, particularly when you are only 2 years old.  

All proceeds go to Ava Wake (see www.avasjourney.com.au  for more information)
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When I think about the year that was and a more recent event, I am reminded of how fragile life is. The line between life and death is as paper thin as that between good and evil.

Ava successfully reached her fundraising goal at the Gala fundraiser. Ava made it home for Christmas Day, which has meant the world to her parents, and to all following her journey. She still has a long way to go, but with the generosity shown globally, she will make it to NYC and can access the treatment she needs.

Here is the twist. Because it seems that for all the good there is in the world, there had to be something bad to keep the balance.

The night before I shaved my hair, I received an anonymous donation of $3030. My initial reaction (and that of the fundraising team) was it had been a mistake. Someone surely only meant to donate $30, but entered it incorrectly?!

Looking at my fundraising page, I realised this amount was raised thanks to a man named Paul.

Paul and my mum were together for six years when my sister and I were in high school. They met through their mutual love of motorbikes – a love that I still don’t possess, and probably to the great relief of my mum and dad.

Although Paul was in the Army and travelled a lot, Maddie and I both agree he was the closest thing to a step dad we’ve ever had: picked us up from school, helped with our homework and assignments, staying up until midnight helping me study for an exam, explaining the science of physics to me as he poured Pepsi into my glass... Always made it practical, relevant and memorable.

After they split, we stayed in touch. He never forgot a birthday, or special occasion, flying from his new home in Cairns to Brisbane just to sit through two boring graduation ceremonies. He was so proud. And we were stoked he was still just as interested in our life and our achievements.

The last time I saw Paul was on my wedding day.

Sadly, just before Christmas, Paul was in a motorcycle accident. His life support was turned off on Christmas Eve and he passed away on Boxing Day.

He was 53. Too young. A man before his time. But is there ever a good time to go?

I am struggling to process the fact that one of his final acts of kindness was to donate to little Ava.

When I realised he had contributed such an incredible amount of money to her cause, I wrote to thank him. He never met her, but that was just Paul – kind, generous and always wanting to help if he could.

He would be absolutely mortified knowing I am now doing this publicly.

Paul, thank you.

Thank you for everything.
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This year will be Hudson’s 3rd Christmas. He’s definitely discovered the magic of... well Santa Claus.

Every time we go shopping, in order to leave without a full blown tantrum, I do one of three things:

1. Buy him another kinder surprise egg, regardless of how many he’s had in the last 24 hours.
2. Take a photo of the toy he “needs” (constantly reiterating to him he doesn’t “need” it, but “wants” it) and tell him we can add it to his list for Santa...Santa’s going to have to sell his sleigh in order to pay for it all...
3. Attempt these things and carry him football hold, kicking and screaming “I no like you!” through the exit, while staying calm and smiling at other customers.

Growing up in such a material world makes it so hard to understand the true meaning behind the silly season. And I think all of us come to the realisation of what Christmas should mean at different points in our life.

For me it was when I was 15, listening to Kelly Clarkson on my CD player in my bedroom. I’d never wanted to throw away or donate all the gifts I had received that Christmas so badly.

‘As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

But heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul’
My Grown Up Christmas List - Kelly Clarkson

This year it will be Ava’s 3rd Christmas. The greatest gift that her family could receive would be to make their goal of $350,000.

To help, I’ve upped my goal further. Donations will close on 17th November which so happens to be the same night as Ava’s Gala.

So if you’re looking for ways to celebrate this festive season, or simply just spend time with family and friends, please buy a ticket to this amazing event. There are some incredible people behind the scenes, giving their all to make sure Ava’s goal is reached.

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My shave is done and dusted, but this little lady is still fighting the battle of her life.

If you are in Melbourne and are free on 17th November, GRAB your family and friends, GLAM up and attend the GALA fundraiser.

Your ticket to Ava's Gala could save her life.

Ava needs life-saving treatment in New York, so we are taking you to New York for a night you will not forget. Enjoy drinks and canapés on arrival, and an exquisite three course menu specially selected by Chef David Ricardo from Chin Chin.

Set in the Grand Plaza Ballroom, our fabulous host is sure to keep you entertained in between sets from the talented Brass ensemble, live performances, and lets not forget the once-in-a-lifetime auction items.

Finally, our keynote guest speaker, Col Reynolds, OAM will inspire you with his story on how he founded the 'Kid's Cancer Project' 25 years ago.

Your support of this event is truly life-saving.

For more information visit: www.avasjourney.com.au/gala
For tickets: www.eventbrite.com.au
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Thank you everyone for your support and generous donations towards our #shaveforava campaign. Renae, Shien and I have raised more than $15k towards Ava’s treatment. We rocked our new buzz cuts with mixed emotions and genuine smiles. Although we were nervous and wished we didn’t have to do something for such a heartbreaking cause, I’m sure the others would agree we’d shave our heads any day for little Ava Bear
It’s not too late to donate:
Our hair is also being donated to Sustainable Salons
For more fundraising for this precious little lady please visit:
#avasneuroblastomajourney #neuroblastoma #childhoodcancerawareness @ L'oreal Australia
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$7,675 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 96 people in 10 months
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