Derrybeg woman Kathleen Griffin is the pride of her community after a charity head shave this afternoon.
Mum-of-three Kathleen is currently undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer and, as her chemotherapy begins, she wanted to give back to the Donegal Cancer Flights and Services.
Kathleen braved the shave in the company of good friends at Ionad Naomh Pádraig in Dore. Before the first cut, she had already raised an amazing €12,000.
Father Brian Ó Fearraigh had the honours of starting Kathleen on her way to her new look before it was over to hairdresser Mary McFadden to complete the shave.
Kathleen said the afternoon was a rollercoaster of emotions, but she will be forever grateful to everyone who supported her in recent months.
“I’ll never be able to thank everybody enough. It lifts my heart. It makes me know that I can do this,” she told Donegal Daily.
Kathleen’s cancer diagnosis came as a shock two months ago, but since then she has gained strength from her amazing family and friends who make sure she’s not alone in this journey.
When Kathleen was told that she was facing chemo and that losing her hair was a definite, she decided to turn it into something positive for the cancer flights charity. The flights made Kathleen’s journeys to Dublin so much more comfortable, she said, and the charity team has been incredible in their support.
“I know it’s in the parish but you don’t realise how good a charity it is until you need it. I just can’t praise them enough,” she said.
Kathleen, now ‘rocking’ her new look, would like to thank her family for being her backbone, to Fr Ó Fearraigh for making the headshave fun and her friends at Ionad Dore and Bríd Sweeney for their support.
Kathleen would also like to thank the team at Letterkenny University Hospital and the local doctors in her community who have been brilliant and so helpful at all times.
Kathleen, who works as a domestic for the HSE, is also raising awareness of her illness to advise people to listen to their bodies and seek answers if they feel something is wrong.
“Do not hesitate to get things checked out and get a second opinion. This isn’t a road I thought I would be on but I’m taking it one step at a time.”
If you would like to support Kathleen now that her challenge is complete, please donate to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/kathleens-brave-the-shave
Find out more about Donegal Cancer Flights and Services here: https://ionadnp.ie/donegal-cancer-flights/
See more photos below, courtesy of Bríd Sweeney: