KAREN Barnham's long mane of hair will be shaved off by her husband Colin in front of their shop on the main street of Mullumbimby next week. For Karen, co-owner of The Chincogan Store, the very public extreme haircut is not only a way of raising money for cancer research, but of drawing a line under two family tragedies which she has struggled to deal with.
Over a decade ago Karen lost her beloved dad Gordon Arthur, an employee of a local supermarket, to a form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma.
She also lost her older brother Neville to prostate cancer.
"I haven't dealt with it very well at all," said the mum of four.
"I'm not going to get Dad and Neville back ever but other people don't need to go through the hell I've been through.
"They're making such huge steps with cancer at the moment it's really worthwhile supporting the research.
"I realise that if we don't all work together... that lots of people who can be saved never will be."
Her goal is to raise $5000, with $2000 already in the kitty thanks to donations from customers, local businesses and suppliers.
Schweppes drink company was the first to kick in with a $300 donation.
Nestle have donated a cricket bat autographed by Adam Gilchrist that will be auctioned off at the Cancer Council's Relay for Life event at Mullumbimby Giants Rugby League Football Grounds on March 16.
Karen admits that announcing in November that she was going to shave all her hair off 'seemed like a good idea at the time'.
She's had some second thoughts since and even some nightmares as she's quite attached to her dark locks, but it's too late to back out now.
"I'll probably be sitting on the chair crying," she laughed.
"But I'll go bald and I'll wear it with pride."
But she was taken aback when Colin decided to contribute $500 for the honour of wielding the shaver.
"It's like, where's the love," she joked.
Donations can be made and raffle tickets purchased at The Chinnie.
Karen's hair will be shaved off at 3pm on March 7 and she warns that the price of coming to laugh at her is a donation.
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