At University Hall (UniHall) our community comes together to stand up and show their support for the causes they believe in. One UniHaller Rachel Rainey has become an inspiration to many around the Hall and even amongst College Row at The University of Western Australia (UWA) as she took part in The World’s Greatest Shave in March this year.
It had been one of Rachel’s dreams to participate in this event to support those who have been diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma and turn to the Leukaemia Foundation for help.
“I committed to it years ago, I kept saying I’ll do the shave when I’m 20 and now that I’m turning 20 in May I realised the time had come. I registered online in a bit of a spontaneous moment,” she says.
While the days leading up to the shave were a little scary, on the day she was surrounded by her supportive family and friends who drove from Bunbury and came from other UWA residential colleges, so she felt confident and ready for the great shave.
“I put my hair into 10 ponytails and my top donators chopped off a ponytail each. My inter-college friend Hayley Winchcombe then shaved my head,” she says.
This event was a real community effort. Rachel says she had help from Bron Ayre, one of the lead Residential Advisors at UniHall, who organised a jumble sale where they sold a bunch of second hand items to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation. Other people got involved and sprayed their hair bright colours to show their support.
“At first I found it hard to be confident about how I look but the residents at UniHall have been super supportive! I’ve been complimented daily about how well I’m pulling off my new look and for how brave it was to do the shave – the people here are incredible!” says Rachel.
Rachel and her friends have been fundraising since 5 January this year and have raised a total of $3,500 – they are still going! Their goal as a team is to raise $5,000. Their journey can be followed and supported at Haller’s for a Cure.
She has also kindly donated her beautiful hair to Locks of Love, an organisation who make wigs and hair pieces for kids suffering from medical hair loss.
“I’m super glad that I did the shave and I’m super excited to experiment with short hairstyles once my hair starts to grow back,” Rachel says.
Photographs taken by Taj Kempe