Brave Abi’s close shave for cancer charity

Date: Friday 22nd June 2018
Abi Baker before her haircut
Abi Baker before her haircut

A SIXTH form student at Penrith’s Ullswater Community College had her head shaved for charity on Wednesday — raising more than £1,000 in the process.

Abi with her father, Mike, who cut her hair
Abi with her father, Mike, who cut her hair

Abi Baker, who turns 18 in August, was sponsored to have her hair shaved off on her final day of school to help raise funds for cancer charity Myeloma UK.

Her parents, Mike Pole-Baker and Stef Storey, a self-employed ceramicist based at Lowther, were on hand to support their daughter’s brave challenge by helping with the shave.

Myeloma is a rare, incurable bone marrow cancer, which can lead to a compromised immune system. Caught early it can be managed with stem cell transplant, chemotherapy and, more recently, immunotherapy.

Abi’s father, who has recently retired from the NHS and is now a self-employed part-time physiotherapist in Brampton, was diagnosed in 2010 and his positive management of his treatment and overall outlook on life have been a key motivation for her.

She said she had wanted to do something outstanding to celebrate her last day at school and decided on having her hair shaved off to show how grateful she was for the support Myeloma UK had given her father.

As well as raising the vital funds needed to support the charity’s work, Abi thought her shaved head would become a talking point and an opportunity to raise awareness of the cancer.

Her head shave also preceded the start of Myeloma UK Awareness Week, which got under way on Thursday.

To date, Abi, who has two older brothers, Guy and Lee, and a sister, singer-songwriter Melanie Baker, has raised more than £1,000 for Myeloma UK and has also been giving talks to her teachers and fellow students.

Myeloma UK is the only UK-based charity focused solely on that particular condition and the discovery, development and patient access to new and effective treatments. It provides a patient support network involved with research and education.

To support Abi in her fundraising efforts visit online.