The Mayoress of the Borough of Scarborough, Mrs Cherry Smith, will have her hair shaved off next week in a charity fundraising event to raise awareness of the importance of mammograms in spotting signs of breast cancer.
The head shave will take place on Monday at 3pm at Scarborough Town Hall.
The Mayoress is seeking encouragement in the form of monetary donations, which will be given to national charity, Breast Cancer Care, and the Mayoress’ Community Fund, which raises money throughout each mayoral year and distributes it to worthy causes throughout the Borough of Scarborough.
The Mayoress was diagnosed with stage three, invasive breast cancer in late 2017 following a mammogram screening.
The current age bracket when women are routinely offered a mammogram every three years is between the ages of 50 and 70.
The Mayoress is outside the upper age limit to be offered a mammogram, but requested one due to her family’s history of breast cancer.
She had no obvious outward signs of breast cancer before going for the mammogram, so had she not gone for the procedure, she would not have known that she had cancer.
The Mayoress has recently undergone successful surgery to remove the cancer and started her chemotherapy treatment last week.
Before her hair starts falling out - a well-known side effect of chemotherapy - she has taken the brave decision to have it all shaved off to shine a spotlight on how crucial mammograms are in breast cancer diagnosis.
Her own hairdresser, Lynn Elwell, of Cutting Edge in Scarborough, has agreed to carry out the head shave.
The Mayoress said: “Many women don’t know you can request a free mammogram above the age of 70 and I want to let them know that they can and they should. My experience shows how crucial the procedure is for spotting breast cancer early enough to have a chance of fighting it successfully. My plea also extends to those ladies between the ages of 50 and 70 who are routinely called for a mammogram but often put it off because they lead very busy lives or think they’re not in a high-risk category.
“If I could just save one other person by encouraging them to attend mammogram screening, then going through the head shave will be worthwhile.”
Anyone wanting to support the Mayoress can make an online donation to Breast Cancer Care via her JustGiving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/mayoress-head-shave or donations for the Mayoress Community Fund can be made by the more traditional method of sponsor form and collection box, which are available at the civic reception at Scarborough Town Hall on St Nicholas Street.