Katie Rand ‘braved the shave’ last week to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, to thank them for helping her friend, Natalie (or Nat) Blandford-Heaney.
For several years Katie has played alongside Nat for the Wight Eagles Ladies’ Football Club. Last year Natalie was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, carcinoma of the sinus, which is sadly at stage 4 and incurable. Early warning signs of the cancer were allegedly missed on a dental x-ray, leading to a delay in treatment.
Nat has now lost her hair as a result of chemotherapy, and she finds it hard to see herself in the mirror. As well as raising money for Macmillan, who have supported Nat in many ways, Katie’s generous gesture is planned to help Nat cope with the loss of her hair. She said: “We will be able to rock being bald together.”
The shave was carried out by another Wight Eagles player and close friend of Nat’s, Ayisha Keyes, with Katie’s tresses donated to the Little Princess Trust, which provides real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair due to cancer.
At the end of February, the Wight Eagles travelled to West Lynn, in Norfolk, to play a special fund-raising football match for Nat. In the ’90s Nat played in goal for the Lynn Legends team and many of her former team-mates played in the match. Although the Island side lost the match 2-1, the funds raised contributed to the total of more than £7,000 raised through GoFundMe.