Young Deitter Stever of Tuross Head spends a lot of time in the children’s section of Canberra Hospital getting treatment for his severe haemophilia, so he decided he would raise funds to give something back.
The 11-year-old Year 5 student at Narooma Public School student had his “Big Chop” at a special assembly on Friday morning where his long blonde hair was cut off by Dalmeny hairdresser Tracey MacDonald.
“I've been growing it for a little over two years now,” Deitter said.
Many of the students, teachers and even principal Paul Sweeney had their own crazy hair and put coins into a donation bucket. Seven winners were also drawn in the raffle.
Deitter’s mother Melissa said the family had raised more than $5000 in recent months, through raffles, sausage sizzles and donation buckets at local Narooma area businesses.
The money will be presented to the children’s section at The Canberra Hospital, which has a wish-list items it hopes to purchase to improve the visits of children getting treatment.
Deitter was born with Hemophilia A, also called factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency or classic hemophilia, which is a genetic disorder caused by missing or defective factor VIII, a clotting protein. This means that even a small cut can result in life-threatening bleeding.
Mrs Stever said the in addition to special treatment at Canberra Hospital once a month, his family also give him special blood transfusions at home three times a week to get factor VIII into his system.
His day Troy, who happens to be recovering from his own battle with Lyme-like disease, said his little fellow has had some close calls, including the time when a small cut as an 18-month-old toddler resulted in his losing around 60 per cent of his blood.
“That’s when we realised he had haemophilia. They say at his current body weight, he has got 52 minutes to live,” Mr Stever said, referring to the time he has to get treatment if he gets a cut.
Deitter and his family thanked everyone who donated toward the Big Chop and who bought raffle tickets or agreed to have a donation bucket at their business.
It's not too late to make a donation. Just head to the Deitters Big Chop page on Facebook.