Westmead school shave raises four times its target

Margaret Hopley is walking around her school with a lighter head and heart after raising four times more than she expected by participating in the Leukaemia Foundation’s Worlds Greatest Shave.

The office secretary at Mother Teresa Primary School, Westmead, has seen three children in the school community battle the disease.

She shaved her head at a Thursday assembly as the whole school watched in support.

Mrs Hopley raised more than $2100 for the cause after she reached her $500 fund-raising target in one day.

‘‘I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all and so glad I did it,’’ she said.

‘‘Last year we had three families in the school who had children diagnosed with leukaemia.

‘‘This is my little way of helping.’’

Two students — one from the central coast and another from southern NSW — were enrolled for six and eight months while undergoing treatment at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Sara, the younger sister of a current pupil, was diagnosed with leukaemia at age two and is now in remission. She will begin kindergarten at the school in 2016.

Mrs Hopley said Mother Theresa Primary opened in 2010 and was a relatively small community of 300 students and 22 staff.

It was named for the nun whose charitable work helped the homeless, poverty-stricken and ran hospices for people with AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, as well as orphanages and schools.

‘‘It’s quite heartbreaking to see the little children suffer,’’ Mrs Hopley said.

‘‘Given what Mother Theresa did for everybody in the community it was very apt [to take part in the shave].’’

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