We caught up with Fae Nelson ahead of her fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support and Alopecia UK on 29 September in Bedlington, Northumberland.
Please tell us a little about your event:
My event is a Coffee Evening to be held at St Cuthbert's Church in Bedlington, Northumberland. It starts at 7.30pm. The highlight of the evening will be an auction, when people will be able to bid to shave a section of my hair off (closely supervised by my hairdresser, who will finish the job off!). There will also be a Raffle and a New and Hardly Used stall. I have set up a VirginMoneyGiving site, and nominate both charities equally, for people who would like to sponsor the event.
What inspired you to organise this fundraising event?
My husband, Michael was diagnosed with terminal and inoperable Oesophagogastric cancer a year ago. As his health failed, I promised him that, whether he was here or not, I would have my head shaved on his 70th birthday, the 29th September, for Macmillan Cancer Support. He died in April, and I must honour my promise. I have supported Macmillan for many, many years and worked with some of the earliest appointed Macmillan nurses in the North East. We were fortunate to have our own Macmillan Nurse supporting us both through Mike's illness, and were very grateful for her input. But there is a second motivation for what I am doing. My elder son's partner, Julie, had suffered with Alopecia Universalis for at least six years. She spent two years having injections in her scalp, chasing the patches around her head, and eventually couldn't stand it any longer, gave in and all her hair went. Such a hard thing for any female to come to terms with, young or old, so, as my attempt at fundraising was to involve a head shave, the least I can do is to raise funds for other alopecia sufferers too. She lives out in the Canaries, and she had no way of getting any support from similarly afflicted people.
What are your hopes for the evening?
Well the evening falls, totally coincidentally, close to Macmillan's biggest coffee morning event, and within Alopecia Awareness Month. Macmillan gets lots of publicity and fundraising, and rightly so, but I certainly also want to raise awareness of alopecia which is not widely known by the general public. I'd like others with alopecia to know there is support out there.
Thanks to Fae for all her efforts. We hope the event is a huge success. Please get along to support if you are able to. You can still support Fae in her fundraising efforts by making a pledge on her Virgin Money Giving page here. All donations will be split equally between Macmillan Cancer Support and Alopecia UK.