Three Otley women 'brave the shave' for Cancer Research

Three women from Otley are 'braving the shave' for charity after being inspired by the many relatives and friends they have lost to cancer.

Rachael Kerr, 39, twin sister Emma Kerr, 39, and friend Hazel Ashton, 38, are having their heads shaved to raise money for Cancer Research.

The brave move follows Hazel's mother's fight with cancer and the loss of the twin's uncle, Mick Kerr, 67, who used to run Kerr's Cars in Otley.

Hazel Ashton, Emma Kerr and Rachel Kerr will be shaving their heads to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Mick died in February this year and is the fourth family member the sisters have lost to cancer. Their aunt that is still battling the disease.

Thankfully, the women also have several friends and family members who have beaten the disease - including their two brothers-in-law who both beat testicular cancer.

But after the death of her uncle Mick and her own cancer scare, Rachael, who has worked in the care industry for 22 years, decided she had to do something to help find a cure for the disease which has plagued her family

Rachael, who has also been a carer for her youngest son for the last six years, said: "I found a few lumps this year but after losing my uncle Mick to cancer I was reluctant to go to the doctors.

"Thankfully it was just a scare but after that, I went for a walk around Otley and suddenly was taken aback about what could have been if the results were any different.

"The thought woke me up with a light bulb moment which gave me the idea of the shave event. I knew I had to do something drastic to make an impact and raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research."

The mother-of-four added: "We are having our heads shaved by cancer survivors who have lost their own hair and my sister Amanda Dibb, whose husband had cancer. It's very hard for women to lose their hair, so we are doing this in solidarity with them. We all love our hair so it's a massive thing to do but we decided to put that money back into something more important than what's on our heads.

"I chose Cancer Research because we have seen family members go through so many severities and different types of cancer - lung, stomach, bowel, testicular, cervical - just to name a few. I couldn't fundraise for just one type, I had to do it for all of them and really make a change."

Rachael shared her plans on social media and had 120 positive responses within three hours.

She said that each and everyone one of them has since donated to their fundraising efforts.

The group are hoping to raise £1000 for the charity and have already raised more than half of their target.

Alongside the head shaving, the event will have pony rides, face painting, a bake sale and sweet jar, a bouncy castle and a raffle and tombola.

All of the money will be donated to Cancer Research in memory of family and friends the group have loved and lost.

Rachael said: "My twin Emma and I first saw cancer aged just 13. It has been a constant in our lives and something we have had no choice but to get used to.

"It is hard to lose a loved one and know you can't do anything about it.

"But we have been inspired by the people we have lost to do this Brave the Shave event and no we will raise the money to help any other families dealing with this disease."

The charity event will be held at Otley Social Club on Hollin Gate from 11am on Saturday, June 1.

To donate visit their Cancer Research UK fundraising page.