EIGHTEEN-year-old James “Jd” Morrison took part in the World’s Greatest Shave last month, raising more than $4600 with “still more to count” for the World’s Greatest Shave (WGS).
The former student from Trinity College, Beenleigh, “braved the shave” after experiencing the support of the Leukaemia Foundation after his brother, William, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia two years ago.
At only 15 months old, William was one of about 50 children who are diagnosed with AML each year, according to statistics from the Leukaemia Foundation.
William suffered severe complications and was put onto a heart and lung bypass machine (ECMO) during chemotherapy, a process that has only previously happened four times worldwide.
The Morrison family’s connection with the Leukaemia Foundation came at a crucial moment in William’s treatment.
The Morrison family met support services co-ordinator for the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland, Sheila Deu-chars, whilst William was in intensive care at the Mater Children’s Hospital.
“I do remember Sheila coming to see us and to let us know once we were back at the Royal Children’s Hospital with William she would do everything possible to have accommodation available to us,” mother Kylie Morrison said.
“Things were a blur at that time as our little boy’s fight for life was still very much in doubt.
“Sheila was our main contact throughout our journey, and attended [the shave this month] and also shaved her head since Jd reached his target online prior to the shave ($3500).”
For Jd, seeing his baby brother and other children suffer greatly has made him passionate about finding a cure.
“I had always heard and known of the Leukaemia Foundation but never truly knew the behind-the-scenes work that they do, and how they not only help the patients but also the families through financial and emotional support,” he said.
On March 17, Jd and his youth group at St Patrick’s, Beenleigh, organised a St Patrick’s Day celebration that coincided with Jd’s WGS event.
Parishioners Jeremy Watson, also a cancer survivor, David Clarke, Bevin Sutton, David Carlile, and local business sponsor Darryl Angus also joined Jd in shaving their heads to raise money for WGS.
Jd’s father, Warwick Morrison, took to the first section of Jd’s hair, followed by his godfather, friends and parishioners.
At one stage, Jd even offered some children a chance to be a hairdresser for five seconds.
“If you ask Mum or Dad to let you donate five dollars, I’ll let you shave my hair,” Jd said.
Jokes were being thrown around about shaving eyebrows and legs, until State Member for Albert Mark Boothman shaved his initials onto Jd’s calves, raising another $100.
The total money raised on the day was $828.50.
“With a week to plan everything that was there, I am really happy with what we achieved,” Jd said.
“I did this to show support because I’ve seen too many families lose young children to this terrible disease, and it needs to stop now.
“I am forever grateful for their support to our family and the families we’ve met along the way.”
For more information on the World’s Greatest Shave and for links to the Leukaemia Foundation, visit www.worldsgreatestshave.com.au
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