A Wythenshawe woman will be braving the shave and losing a head full of curly locks to raise money for The Christie next week.

Rachel Collier, aged 38, is taking on the courageous challenge to support her sister Jeanette, who is currently being treated for leukaemia at The Christie.

Rachel hasn’t been able to see Jeanette face to face for months as Jeanette is shielding due to her cancer treatment – so Rachel decided to do what she could to support her in another way. She has organised a family fun day – of which one of the main attractions will be her having her head shaved. Rachel will be joined in the hair-raising challenge by husband Greg and son Lewis Nugent.

Rachel said: “I haven’t been able to visit Jeanette due to COVID-19 which has been very difficult. We’re doing everything we can as a family to protect her, but the fact she is shielding through her treatment means she has had to go through much of this on her own. I wanted to show my support, so I thought about it and realised if Jeanette could lose her hair, then so could I.

“I’m nervous about doing something so extreme, but it is nothing compared to what my sister and other patients like her have gone through. I just hope the head shave and the family fun day will raise money to support a very worthy cause. The Christie team has been excellent and this is my way of saying thank you.”

Rachel works as a paralegal for law firm Mewburn Ellis LLP who are supporting the event, which is part of a series she hopes to complete as part of her bid to fulfil The Christie Challenge – a new fundraising initiative recently launched. Rachel has already completed the Wilmslow Summer 10K run.

The Christie Challenge is to complete 6 different fundraising activities over one year. Whether people want to do a sponsored run, organise a bake sale or host an online quiz night, everyone can get involved. And with fundraising income down by more than a quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Christie charity is encouraging as many people as possible to join in. Anyone who completes the challenge will earn a fabulous jigsaw medal featuring the rainbow Christie embrace.

Jen Kent, community fundraising officer at The Christie said: “We wish Rachel the very best of luck with her event and taking on The Christie Challenge - she is a great example of the lengths people will go to support our cause, and with our income hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have never needed our supporters more – each and every penny raised makes a difference.” 

The Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow family fun day takes place at Wythenshawe Town Football Club, Timpson Road, from 12 to pm on Monday August 30. Family entertainment including dancing, a bouncy castle, raffle and Morris dancers will also be available. For more information, contact rachelcollier69@yahoo.co.uk 

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families. 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.