CUTTING EDGE: Freshly trimmed Kathy Lark and the Cubby House for Kids crew celebrate the Coin for a Cord campaign.
CUTTING EDGE: Freshly trimmed Kathy Lark and the Cubby House for Kids crew celebrate the Coin for a Cord campaign. Contributed

Charity for cells

CHEERED on by a group of animated pre-schoolers, Cubby House for Kids educator Kathy Lark had a close shave with the clippers last week.

Inspired after watching a documentary about the benefits of Cord Blood Research, Kathy and her husband Neil, from Townsend, decided to shave their heads and in the process raise funds for the annual Coin for a Cord appeal, a project of Inner Wheel Australia.

Kathy said she just wanted to do something to help sick kids.

"I work with children and I'd hate to see any of them become seriously ill," Kathy said.

And as for being worried about sporting a shaved head in the chilly winter months, Kathy said she noticed the hair on her horses grew fast at this time of year. "I was hoping it might work for me too," she said with a laugh.

The Coin for a Cord project started in 2000, with research showing the blood left behind in the placenta and umbilical cord is rich in blood-forming cells.

These stem cells, when transplanted into a patient, can assist the patient by producing all the different types of blood cells after a patient's own blood cells have been destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation. The most common need for transplantation is in cases of acute leukemia.

Sponsored by friends, family and the community, the final tally is yet to be made for Neil and Kathy's efforts. This year's national target was $2 million.



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