Maraylya Public School's Isabella Ponturo wanted to help support those with blood cancer

AT only 10 years old, Year 5 student Isabella Ponturo is determined to make a difference to the world. She has already donated her beautiful hair four times over the years to make wigs for cancer sufferers, and now she’s bravely shaved it all off in the name of blood cancer research.

The Maraylya Public School student raised over $5000 through her participation in the World’s Greatest Shave - a Leukaemia Foundation fundraiser supporting those with blood cancer.

Isabella’s mum, Monica Ponturo, said it was entirely her daughter’s idea to take part in the program. In fact, Isabella had been asking for over a year for her mum’s permission.

“She wanted to do it last year but I was a bit worried because she was only nine. I was worried and I wanted to make sure she could fully comprehend what it means not to have any hair. She’s a ‘girly girl’ and she loves styling it,” Ms Ponturo told the Gazette.

“But her attitude is that it’s only hair, and it will grow back. She said if she’s helping someone by doing it, it will make her happy.”

Ms Ponturo said Isabella’s motivation was close to her heart: “Her grandmother has myeloma blood cancer and Isabella wants to raise money to help find a cure,” she said.

The sum Isabella raised far exceeded her goal of $3500. Before the ‘big shave’, Isabella had a party with her friends to celebrate, and dyed her hair.

“Dying her hair was something quirky she wanted to do. She has beautiful brown hair, but I said OK. I didn’t realise she wanted to dye it a crazy rose gold colour!” said Ms Ponturo.

Stewart Gaffey, principal of Isabella’s school, said: “We are all very proud of her.”

Students and teachers wore blue and orange – the World’s Greatest Shave colours – on Friday to support Isabella and her big shave.