Fahan woman Tanya Burnett has been inspired to brave the shave this September in solidarity with her sister’s cancer battle.

Lisa Gallagher from Letterkenny was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. As she undergoes chemotherapy, Lisa decided to take her upcoming hair loss into her own hands. She did a charity head shave earlier this month in aid of Cancer Care West, raising an amazing €4,600.

Lisa and her friends and family, from left: James Gallagher, Connor Gallagher, Julie Cassidy, Jackie McAteer, Tanya Burnett, Julie McGuigan, Lisa Gallagher, Molly Gallagher, Ray Rasher, Vanessa Rasher and Joe Burnett

In two weeks’ time, Lisa’s sister Tanya will also lose her locks for charity.

Tanya is taking on the challenge for two reasons – to show Lisa she’s not alone, and to raise more funds and awareness for Cancer Care West.

“Lisa is so strong and she keeps her head up high. Sometimes I feel so helpless seeing her ill, so this is my way of showing Lisa that I’m here for her,” Tanya said.

Tanya and Lisa are originally from Essex and moved to Donegal with family 18 years ago. Tanya, now living in Fahan, has two boys. Just last year, she underwent a remarkable weight loss journey and lost 14 stone after gastric sleeve surgery.

Tanya and Lisa

It’s been a difficult few years for the family, but they have always been there for each other, Tanya says.

Cancer Care West has been a vital support for Lisa since her diagnosis in March. The Letterkenny centre is a listening ear for cancer patients, providing free confidential counselling, support from oncology nurses and holistic therapies such as reflexology.

“When Lisa was diagnosed I always said I would get my head shaved with her, as a bit of support for her. Then we discovered Cancer Care West. The services they provide helped Lisa so much on the holistic side of things.

“It’s a great centre that isn’t widely known and I think it should be. It’s a godsend to people, especially if you have to travel to Galway, they help with accommodation supports.

“If me doing this head shave can help one person realise that the centre is there, and it helps their journey, that’s brilliant.”

Tanya has scheduled her head shave for the 13th of September at Haircraft in Letterkenny. She’s not too apprehensive about the shave, she says.

“It will be emotional I think, but Lisa doesn’t have a choice about losing her hair so how can I complain for a second about it? We will wear furry hats together this winter!”

To donate to Tanya’s Head Shave, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/780689457165932/10159387750992023/

Find out more about Cancer Care West here: https://www.cancercarewest.ie/