MELISSAH Taylor recently shaved her head for charity.

In 2008, Melissah’s mum, Caroline Greenwood, was first diagnosed with cancer. Soon to go into remission in 2009, Caroline underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Doctors had told her that her cancer had a chance of returning, and 15 years later, it did.

Now, Caroline has entered Stage 4 cancer, meaning that it’s too far gone for treatment.

“I started feeling unwell last year (2023), and it was really difficult to diagnose,” Caroline said.

“I struggled for 12 months trying to find out why I was feeling so unwell. Not long before Christmas, I presented with lumps on my chest and clavicle. I’m a physical fitness instructor, so it was really hard for me to put a finger on what was abnormal from what I did at my age – for what I was doing. I have always been very active and fit. I actually retired from working the gyms because I wasn’t feeling physically up to it, in hindsight, and now I can see why.”

When Melissah first found out about her mum’s cancer, she wanted to shave, but Caroline told her not to because she didn’t want both of them losing their hair.

“This time around, we said that we would be bald together, and then we discovered that she couldn’t have the chemo and that it wasn’t going to be beneficial, I said I would do it anyway because there is that feeling of hopelessness. I needed to do something. So, the least that I can do is shave my head. What else can you do?” Melissah said.

Melissah’s fundraising efforts, which included family, friends, and past high school friends, raised $2070. While the money couldn’t be used to treat Caroline, the mother-and-daughter duo are donating it to the Latrobe Regional Hospital Cancer Centre, where Caroline received treatment for the first round.

“They looked after me the first time round and gave me 15 extra years to see my kids grow up, to see grandchildren come, to have time with my friends and family and to live a really good life. A lot of it is really dependent on charity and donations. The waiting rooms need updating,” Caroline said.

“I was incredibly proud and humbled that people were donating their hard-earned money to me by just shaving off my hair. That was amazing,” Melissah added.

Brave: Melissah Taylor getting the clipper treatment. Photograph: Katrina Brandon

Caroline told the Express that Latrobe Valley is really lucky to have the clinic here as it caters to all of our surroundings, such as Orbost, Sale, and more.

She said that if the Valley didn’t have it, those having radiation would have to travel into the city for 15 minutes of treatment.

She said that her case is a great reminder that cancer doesn’t discriminate against people, and the importance of regular check-ups.

Now, Melissah is enjoying her moments with her mum and the fresh cut, saving her time in the morning.

The shave took place at Elysian Hair and Spray Tans, Traralgon surrounded by Melissah’s family and friends.