A Roe Valley woman has been inspired to have her head shaved for charity after the devastating loss of her best friend and her brother-in-law.
Paula McCloskey, who is originally from Dungiven, will have her shoulder-length hair chopped off on September 11 at a fundraising night in The Depot in Limavady.
Paula, who lives and works in Limavady, was left heartbroken when her best friend of more than a decade, 41-year-old Leona Woods, passed away in March after battling Leukaemia.
Just two months earlier, Paula’s brother-in-law Liam ‘Tilly’ McElhinney passed away, aged 48 on January 23 after a 16-month long battle with esophageal cancer.
The 51-year-old said: “Leona and Tilly were in the City Hospital in Belfast at the same time. It was an awful time for them.”
Paula met Leona through their work at Limavady Taxis, and saw each other daily.
“Leona was an inspiration. She was very bubbly, just full of life. She adored her three children and everything she did was for them. When Tilly died I knew then I had to do something,” she said, explaining she had watched Leona lose her hair.
Paula said the last time she had short hair was in her teenage years, and isn’t in the slightest worried abut saying goodbye to her locks for a while.
Thinking of what Leona and Tilly endured with their treatment when they were sick, Paula said what she is doing is a small price to pay if it can help others.
Paula has decided to split all funds raised and donate to two charities - Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI and Cancer Research UK.
“I just want to raise as much as I can,” said Paula, who has created a ‘Just Giving’ page so people can donate online.
“I wanted to do something that would have a big impact, and I thought ‘what can I do?’
“This had always been on mind, and it’s hard enough for anyone to lose their hair who is going through treatment.”
Paula will be getting the snip courtesy of her daughter, hairdresser Lisa Grieve at The Depot. She will also be holding a raffle on the night,
To donate to Paula or donate prizes towards the raffle go to www.justgiving.com/paula-mccloskey/
For more, see the Facebook page Paulas Shave for the Brave!