Lismore led the way

Cathy Mooney of Goonellabah began the World’s Greatest Shave in an effort to help her father Eric Graydon. Jacklyn Wagner
Cathy Mooney of Goonellabah began the World’s Greatest Shave in an effort to help her father Eric Graydon. Jacklyn Wagner

THE Leukaemia Foundation's biggest annual fundraiser started with Cathy Mooney's love for her father and frustration with inadequate health facilities.

Ms Mooney's dad, Eric Graydon, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1998. The Lismore resident ended up being treated in Brisbane Royal Hospital for months with little contact with the outside world.

"Dad had a bone marrow transplant and I wanted to ring him for his birthday but there were no cordless phones for patients in that ward," Ms Mooney recalled.

"I thought it was absolutely appalling that patients who were either terminal or seriously ill couldn't even get a phone call from a loved one. I thought, 'Well, I'll raise some money and get some phones for the hospital'."

Ms Mooney and her family got the idea to raise money by shaving their heads from some police fundraisers which worked in a similar way.

"World's Greatest Shave started for the independent normal person who wanted to have a shave," Ms Mooney said.

"Within a couple of weeks I had 67 members of Dad's extended family come together to shave their heads and raise money.

"It was also a sign of solidarity and to stand with Dad in that he was losing his hair and was so helpless."

The first World's Greatest Shave took place in Lismore Square in 1998. More than 200 people participated and $80,000 was raised for Leukaemia Foundation.

Mr Graydon's doctor took Ms Mooney's idea to the next level.

"Dad's hematologist heard about it and said, 'If a little place like Lismore can raise $80,000, what can a nation do?'" Ms Mooney recalled.

World's Greatest Shave has become the Leukaemia Foundation's biggest annual fundraiser, generating about $14m each year. "It's our most important campaign," Leukaemia Foundation's public relations officer Beth Zucker said.

Mr Graydon died in 1999 but Ms Mooney remained a spokesperson for World's Greatest Shave.

Leukemia

  • An Australian is diagnosed with leukemia every 46 minutes
  • Blood cancer claims more lives than any other cancer
  • Leukaemia Foundation's biggest annual fundraiser, World's Greatest Shave, started in Lismore in 1998
  • About 125,000 people participate in the event each year
  • World's Greatest Shave has raised $120m for blood cancer research and facilities for patients and their families

Topics:  cathy mooney, leukaemia foundation, lismore, world's greatest shave




Local Real Estate

finda logo
Featured Real Estate
Looking outside the... $389,000
House 3 2 1
You will be very tempted... Offers Over...
Apartment 3 3 2
Amazing mountain views ... $235,000
Residential Land This home site, located only minutes from town, is simply unheard of ...
Gorgeous eco style home... Offers Over...
4 2 5

Featured Jobs

finda logo

Coffs Coast jobs listed daily


Featured Jobs
SENIOR CIVIL... Brisbane Full Time
Registered & Enrolled... Coffs Harbour Casual


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Job Listings

Search for your next job now.
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Post an ad from $30
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

Horoscopes

Libra

Someone has overlooked to repay you some money or a favor. You may be at odds as to how to deal with this. Give it a little more time, then...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save