RESILIENT and brave are excellent words to describe 11 year old Mathew Stannard.
The Wonthaggi North Primary School student has had it tough, battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and Marfan Syndrome – a connective tissue disorder affecting his heart – since he was four years old.
Now in Grade 6 and in remission, Mathew is ready to participate in the World’s Greatest Shave to give back to the Leukaemia Foundation.
Mathew has wanted to do the World’s Greatest Shave since he was in Grade Prep and his Grade 6 buddy at Romsey Primary School shaved his head on Mathew’s behalf in 2010.
“Mathew was going through chemo at the time and it was something he’ll never forget,” his mother Kerry said.
Inspired by his buddy’s bravery, Mathew is thrilled to have his chance to raise money for the foundation that has helped his family through their hardship.
The campaign hits close to home for the Stannard family, who understand the importance of keeping regional families together while undergoing blood cancer treatment in the city.
The Leukaemia Foundation went above and beyond to help the family cope, including supporting costs such as food, parking and petrol.
Mathew’s shave will be held in Wonthaggi North Primary School’s gym at 3pm on March 11. Mathew and his father Steve will shave their heads by local hairdresser Natalie Rose. Kerry and his little brother Shaun will colour their hair.
A funky hair day with a gold coin donation will also give his classmates a chance to pitch in on the day.
Mathew aimed to raise $2000, but with a couple of weeks to go he has already raised a whopping $1500.
He has gained support from the local community with tins placed at Wonthaggi North Primary School and Amcal Chemist.
Bass Coast Shire Council mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale will also be there to support the event.
“I’m pretty excited. I’m doing this because I want to raise money to go towards finding a cure for cancer and other diseases. I know what it feels like to go through it and I would be very happy if no one else had to,” Mathew said.
Kerry said Mathew was inspirational as he endured his illness, and has always been the type of child who wanted to support others.
“I’m so proud of him. It’s nice for him to be able to give back. It’s something he’s always talked about and he’s always been 100 per cent willing to go through with it,” he said.
If you want to help Mathew reach his goal, head to http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/mathewstannard to make a donation.
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=17687