By Kirra Grimes
A GROUP of six current and former Mary MacKillop College students have raised almost $15,000 in two weeks in a bid to help out their 17-year-old mate who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Jai Stefani, who’s in Year 11 at Mary Mac, returned from the most recent school holidays with the news of his diagnosis, and his mates Harry McNeil, Josh McGannon, Sam McGannon, Matt McGannon, Jordie Hill and Lucas Ion wanted to give Jai “a little something to help keep him smiling and pushing through the tough times ahead”.
They all pledged to shave their heads to raise money for Jai’s travel, accommodation and other costs as he undergoes chemotherapy, as well as for youth cancer charity CanTeen, and within three days of setting up an online crowdfunding campaign, they’d raised $11,500.
Harry says they’ve been blown away community’s support.
“The response has been incredible. We set the goal pretty low – we were expecting maybe $500 in the first 24 hours – and we couldn’t believe how it just shot up. We’re so thankful to everyone that’s donated, whether it’s $2 or $5 or $50,” he said.
Harry says the campaign is not just about raising money, but also about raising awareness of the many people struggling with cancer locally and globally.
He says as well as donating, it would mean a lot if people spread the word and if those who know Jai or his family reach out and wish them the best.
The boys’ heads will be shaved in front of their fellow students, including Jai, at Mary MacKillop this Friday, December 1. If the shaved-off locks are long enough, they’ll be used to make wigs for chemotherapy patients.
The donation page will stay online until Friday, December 8. To donate go to www.gofundme.com/shaving-our-heads-to-fight-cancer