The countdown is on for 21-year-old Tristan Rogers who is about to have his cascade of dreadlocks shaved off as a fund raiser for a teenage friend battling cancer.
Ever humble about his courageous gesture, Tristan says it is the least he can do to help support family friend Merrick Edelston who has Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), and also encourage others to dig deep.
Sixteen year old Merrick from Seville is about to undergo his second round of chemotherapy and it has been confirmed he will need a bone marrow transplant.
‘It was like a bombshell when I heard about Merrick and I thought that having my dreadlocks shaved would be a great way to help Merrick and his family,’ said Tristan who is coordinator of Cire’s Out of School Hours Care program at Badger Creek.
‘We all know each other from going to Seville Primary School and Lilydale High…and our brothers being close friends.’
The big day for Tristan’s dreadlocks of the past seven years is 11.30 am on Sunday 28 March at Branded Burgers and Bar, Seville. All money raised will go to the GoFundMe campaign that has been launched for the family with Branded Burgers donating 20% of its taking from 11 am to 12.30pm.
For those keen to donate, and as the gofundme page states: ‘Let’s support Merrick and his amazing family through this long and stressful journey by ensuring they can cover medical expenses, petrol and parking costs as well as the impact on both Maree and Jonas’s ability to work their usual hours while caring for Merrick. Let’s show our support for Merrick a bright, fun loving, caring and thoughtful young man who faces this extremely tough journey and subsequent recovery.
AML is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It is a group of leukaemias that develop in the myeloid cell line in the bone marrow. Myeloid cells are red blood cells, platelets and all white blood cells excluding lymphocytes.
AML is fairly rare with about 900 people diagnosed in Australia each year, accounting for 0.8% of all cancers diagnosed and at a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 of population.