This weekend Casey Malady and Paul Thompson will be shaving their heads as part of Abby’s Army’s fundraising campaign.
Abby’s Army was created by 10 year old Abby and her family to raise money for charities closest to her, Children’s Cancer Foundation and Challenge.
The campaign goal was originally set up to raise $5,000 but in less than one week has received over $20,000 in donations.
Abby was recently diagnosed with Leukaemia, prompting her aunty Casey to shave her head in solidarity for Abby.
“It was never about the fundraising, initially it was more about her, just to be there and support her, and then everyone said you should fundraise as well,” Casey said.
Abby chose charities, Children’s Cancer Foundation and Challenge, because they are the organisations Abby is most involved with on a daily basis at hospital.
Abby’s army did not begin with the intention to raise funds for charity, but was formed on a bond between two very close friends.
“She is very special and she means a lot to me. She is more like a good little friend than an aunty and niece relationship,” Casey said.
“It has turned into a lot more than I ever would have anticipated, we are really excited and absolutely blown away, it makes Abby smile and anything that makes Abby smile makes me smile too.”
Casey and Paul live around the corner from their niece Abby and her two younger sisters. They have always been involved with the close knit family, whether it be walking the dogs or attending netball games.
“I have 14 nieces and nephews, I love them all as if they are my own children,” Casey said.
Casey and Paul could not be more pleased with the funds raised, and are excited to say goodbye to their full heads of hair this Sunday.
“I have considered shaving my head for charity in the past, but I don’t think I ever would have done it, until it was for Abby,” Casey said.
“She said to me ‘you don’t have to do this’, and I asked will it make you happy? She smiled and said ‘yeah it will’ and that was it, ‘Well then I’m doing it!’
The family is would like say thank you for all the overwhelming amount of support received from the Newport, Hobsons Bay community and beyond.
“We had donations from people that we don’t even know, that’s what really blows me away”
Abby has been overwhelmed by the response and support from friends and the extended community, and the success of Abby’s Army has just proven to her how big her support network really is.
“She is definitely a trooper! She is very intelligent and mature beyond her years,” Casey said.
Abby has received a visit from a member of the Children’s Cancer Foundation who personally thanked her for her fundraising efforts.
Abby’s sister and teacher will also be cutting their hair short to give their locks as donations for cancer and leukaemia patient wigs.
If you would like to support Abby’s Army you can go to https://www.gofundme.com/abby039s-army