Losing long locks for great causes

Tuross lad Deitter Stever, who turns 12 next Friday, has had to endure some tough times.

Deitter was born with haemophilia, a condition that prevents the blood from clotting.

When Deitter was small there were a lot of emergency trips to hospital including one in a helicopter and numerous plane flights so he could be administered the life-saving clotting factor. 

During his life Deitter has spent a lot of time in hospitals and, as his mu, Melissa Stever said, in the children’s hospitals the haemophilia unit is usually included in the oncology wards.

“Deitter has spent so much time in cancer units and has seen many small sick children that had lost all their hair from chemotherapy.

“One day he said to me ‘I wanna cut my hair off and give it somebody that needs it’ and he started growing it a couple of years ago,” she said.

Dietter decided he would grow his hair to the required 34cm and donate it to Variety’s Wigs for Kids. 

His hair grew and upon reaching the required length he had his long blond braid cut off by Dalmeny hairdresser Tracey McDonald at a formal assembly of Narooma Public School students.

Deitter, his family and friends managed to also raise a massive $6508.30.

“We not only raised money through the school, we had buckets around town and held other fundraising activities,” Mrs Stever said.

After being advised it would be better to donate the money to just one organisation, the family decided it should to to the Haemophilia Foundation ACT (AHFACT).

The Stever family were introduced the AHFACT by Canberra Hospital haemophilia nurse James Slade who encouraged the family to go on one of the AHFACT camps for haemophiliac children.

“James is just amazing, he won the ACT Nurse of the Year award last year.

“We became members of AHFACT because it is close by and since then Deitter has been on numerous camps with them.

“Since going to camp, Deitter has met so many kids like him and that has been so good for him to realise he’s not so isolated and alone,” Mrs Stever said.

Deitter presented a cheque for the money he raised to the NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, and the president of the Haemophilia Foundation ACT, Claude Damiani, and hospital staff at a formal cheque presentation covered by television crews.