International Diver ‘Braves The Shave’ To Raise Funds For Ulster Hospital’s Macmillan Cancer Unit

21st March 2024
Joan presents Ward Sister Angela Berry with cheque

Bangor woman Joan Dunlop who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer has raised an incredible £11,000 for the Macmillan Cancer Unit in the Ulster Hospital through a ‘Brave the Shave’ fundraising event.

Joan who is an international diver and represented Ireland and is a local children’s swim and dive boarding coach, explained how she is facing two years of treatment to treat breast cancer which has spread to her lymph nodes and lung after she discovered a lump in her right armpit in December.

A familiar face in her hometown, the 51-year-old spoke movingly of the support she received from family and friends as ten friends and family shaved their heads to offer their support to Joan as she began her treatment.

Joan said, “A local barbers volunteered to do the shaving and we all sat in a circle holding hands as they set about doing the work. Local musician Taylor Lally sang as well which was a very uplifting moment and soul singer Siobhan Brown dedicated her new song ‘Overcomer’ to me on the day as well. All those, including myself, who had long hair, donated it to The Little Princess Trust which is the cancer charity for children and young people who have lost their hair through treatment.

“I am having my second course of chemotherapy this week at the Macmillan Unit in the Ulster Hospital.  This this will be part of six treatments, I will then undergo a mastectomy a few months later before radiotherapy and immunotherapy. The doctors and nurses that have treated me right from the beginning have been absolutely brilliant, they have been amazing. By doing ‘Brave The Shave’, it is my way of giving back,  I would like to thank all those who donated and helped to raise such a fantastic amount for the Macmillan Cancer Unit.”

Macmillan Cancer Unit Ward Sister Angela Berry said, “This is an incredible donation which will significantly help our patients have the most comfortable journey and that is of the utmost importance.  I would like to thank Joan and to everyone who took part in Brave the Shave which not only raised vital funds for the unit, but also serves as a reminder of the strength and resilience of those facing cancer.”