CAT IN A HAT // A PORTRAIT STORY
I first came across the wonderful cause that is "Cat in a hat" through my hairdresser friend Hayley. As we so often do, I saw a post she had commented on via Facebook and it really caught my eye, her friend Charlene and Charlene's little cousin Safie had pledged to shave their heads in order to help raise money for brain cancer in honour of their deeply loved family member, Cat. I've known a couple of friends and acquaintances decide to do this for various different types of cancer, and every time it never fails to massively impress and humble me. Some may think it's not that big of a deal, and compared to actually battling cancer and losing your hair involuntarily of course, no it's not. But in every day world where you might be lucky enough not to even have to contemplate going through something like that, it is a big deal. I don't know if other women feel the way I do, but my hair is a huge deal to me! It's almost a feeling of security, it makes me feel confident and feminine and I'm sorry but never mind bad hair days, when you're having a bad face day (we all know what one of those is!) your hair can be your saving grace! So personally, I think any women with the balls to give that up purely for the benefit of someone else, are indescribably awesome and immensely brave.
Beautiful Cat was diagnosed with grade two brain cancer last summer, which sadly then progressed to grade four towards the end of the year. During that time she went through several bouts of chemotherapy and radiology, and took the strong and brave decision herself then to shave her hair on her own terms, a look that she pulls off insanely well I have to say!
Knowing what I did about her condition, I don't know exactly who I was expecting when I met Cat on the day of the head shave, but the person that came and greeted me so warmly was what I can only describe as radiating positivity. She was charming, funny, outgoing, beaming with smiles and her general attitude and demeanour even in the short time I spent with her was infectious to be around, and to say she was extremely inspiring would be a massive understatement. I could absolutely see why people have rallied around Cat and her family the way they have.
What started as a little idea for Hayley to shave their heads in solidarity inside Hayley's salon, to their surprise and entirely through peoples concern and generosity, slowly grew and grew to an entire Sunday's event at The Shire Horse pub in Corby, Northamptonshire. There was music, raffles, auctions and of course the main event, Charlene and Safie's "Bad Hair Day!" - I'm sure Charlene won't mind me giving special props to Safie (Cat's niece) for volunteering to do this act of bravery at incredulously just 10 years old, there's a little warrior if ever I met one! Both the girls did amazingly well and actually looked fantastic afterwards! You feel after something like this you'd have to lie no matter what and say "yeah you look great!" So it was definitely very handy that all three girls look phenomenally gorgeous with their new do's! I had a really lovely couple of hours witnessing these girls do whatever it took to raise money via their #catinahat campaign, and help they did, raising upwards of an incredible £5,000!
Thankyou for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderfully inspiring occasion ladies,
GI Jane's got nothing on you.