‘‘NOW if we could just get him to have a shave’’ Karen Kennedy said, tears welling, as her son and Jets goalkeeper Ben rose from his chair and rubbed his bald head.
Kennedy’s size 13 feet were covered by the shoulder length hair that had occupied his now nude nut.
Once over the initial shock of seeing her son without hair for the first time since he was born, emotion took over. ‘‘I am very proud of him,’’ she said. ‘‘I didn’t think he would go through with it actually.’’
Kennedy and his Jets teammates and coaching staff shaved their heads yesterday to raise money and awareness for the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF).
Mrs Kennedy has breast cancer and has been a recipient of the services provided by the charity organisation.
‘‘Mine has actually spread to my bones,’’ she said.
‘‘There is no cure for me but we are plodding along every day. For him to do that means a lot. It is great to have the support of your family and friends.
‘‘I thought he was going to ask me to shave but I’m holding on to mine as long as I can, thank you.’’
Ben approached the Jets with the idea for the fund-raiser late last year. HBCF is a volunteer-based organisation that provides essential services for patients and families living with breast cancer and undergoing treatment in the Hunter.
‘‘Until mum got diagnosed, I didn’t realise how big a disease it was and how many people were affected by it,’’ he said.
‘‘Being a bloke you don’t think about breast cancer until someone is hit by it. Hopefully we can raise some money and awareness for it.
‘‘I was at home before Christmas and my hair was really annoying me. I decided to cut it off and thought why not shave it and raise a bit of money.
‘‘I ran the idea by the club and they were all for it.’’
The Jets, in conjunction with HBCF, have arranged a series of fund-raising activities culminating in a ‘‘Pink Day for BK’’ for the clash against Melbourne Heart on Saturday.
Pink T-shirts will be on sale at the game, with $5 from each purchase given to HBCF. Volunteers will be collecting donations on the day and the pledges can also be made on the Jets website.
HBCF co-ordinator Paula Greentree said funds raised would cover operating the supportive care program for three months.
‘‘At the moment we have 20-odd people on our books who have no family support or network,’’ Mrs Greentree said. ‘‘From what we raise here we can make sure they are looked after during the treatment phases. Everything stays here in the Hunter. It’s Hunter people looking after Hunter people.’’
Donations can be made at Hunter Stadium on Saturday or at www.hbcf.org.au.