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Shaving in solidarity

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THEY have been close since having their first children more than 30 years ago, and this week Jill Luce and Sue Willis held hands tightly as the latter had her head shaved to raise money for the cancer charities that have supported her terminally ill friend.

Sue Willis holds her hair after having her head shaved in support of her close friend Jill Luce, who can be seen in the red headscarf behind her. Picture: ROB CURRIE (22493381)

Jill, the wife of St Martin Deputy Steve Luce, is currently having palliative care six years after being diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer, meaning it had spread beyond her ovaries.

In the years since her diagnosis she has undergone numerous operations and rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The latest round of chemotherapy once again caused her to lose her hair – but this time Sue joined her. In a packed Bonita hair salon at Les Ormes on Monday, the business’ owner, Anita Brown, took the clippers to Sue’s hair as family and friends – including Jill – looked on.

So far the event has raised more than £8,000 for Jersey Cancer Relief, which offers financial help to Islanders affected by cancer.

Sue said: ‘It was an amazing day, with lots of supporters there. It was made all the more special because Jill was able to attend, albeit late!

‘But Anita was incredible and very happy to delay until Jill arrived. The next client, who knows me, was also very patient and happy to delay her appointment for us – I don’t think she really wanted a large audience while having her hair done.’ She added: ‘As Anita said to me as she was beginning to shave my head “I’m doing myself out of business!” I’ve promised I’ll be back when it grows enough to warrant a cut.

‘I have to say it feels quite liberating and I now understand why my husband likes to have his hair cut so short.’

Meanwhile Jill, who writes a blog about living with cancer, described her friend as a ‘brave lady’ and said she ‘actually looks really good’ with her head shaved.

Jersey Cancer Relief was set up in 1968, initially as the Jersey branch of the national campaign, when it was found that some cancer patients and their families were finding it difficult to cope financially because of their illness.

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It was incorporated as a Jersey charity in November 1973. It now works to help those affected by cancer with the costs associated with doctors’ fees, medicines and dressings, heating, travel to hospitals in the UK, subsistence, nursing care and other miscellaneous expenses.

It has advisers on hand to deal with enquiries and all discussions are treated in complete confidence.

For more information visit jerseycancerrelief.org, or to sponsor Sue’s headshave, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/jill-luce1.

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson
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