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Community support blows away Albany’s Steve Cowley during World’s Greatest Shave fundraising effort

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Ron's Hairdresser Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley.
Camera IconRon's Hairdresser Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley. Credit: Laurie Benson

Steve Cowley has thanked the community for its tremendous support after the leukaemia survivor had his head shaved in support of the Leukaemia Foundation at the weekend.

The whirring of Ron’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry’s clipper on the stage at Albany Harmony Festival on Saturday signalled it was time for Mr Cowley’s first haircut and shave since the end of chemotherapy treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia last year.

Mr Cowley said he had been “gobsmacked” by the show of community spirit both during the shave and leading up to the event.

“People have been rallying around and understand that we are not only trying to give back to the Leukaemia Foundation financially, we are also trying to raise awareness,” he said.

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“I think that is starting to pay off now as well.”

He said one woman approached him before the shave to tell him how his story resonated because of her family’s experience with the same disease.

“She’d seen an article at the farmer’s market and she started crying because it had brought everything back because her sister had had the same thing I had had,” he said.

“She had been the stem cell transplant donor and she said to me ‘your story resonated so much because it made me relive what I went through’ as if she had written it herself.

“She thanked us for raising the publicity and awareness and that touched me as well.”

Leukaemia survivor Steve Cowley before taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave.
Camera IconLeukaemia survivor Steve Cowley before taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave. Credit: Laurie Benson

The crowd’s enthusiasm only increased when a second man took to the stage for an impromptu shave to keep donations rolling in.

“Literally he’d just popped out for a pint of milk or something like that, and he said if it would help people keep donating he would have his done as well,” Mr Cowley said.

“So people joined in in different ways.”

So far Mr Cowley has raised more than $5000 and his donation page on the World’s Greatest Shave website will remain open for a few more weeks.

Ron’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley.
Camera IconRon’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley. Credit: Laurie Benson
World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley with partner Anne Sparrow,
Camera IconWorld's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley with partner Anne Sparrow, Credit: Laurie Benson
Ron’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley.
Camera IconRon’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley. Credit: Laurie Benson
World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley with Ron’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry.
Camera IconWorld's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley with Ron’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry. Credit: Laurie Benson
Ron’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley and emcee Angela Bristow-Baohm.
Camera IconRon’s Barbershop’s Kumari Henry with World's Greatest Shave participant Steve Cowley and emcee Angela Bristow-Baohm. Credit: Laurie Benson

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