Darkan community set to celebrate Jack Boyle’s survival

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times

A World’s Greatest Shave event in Darkan next month will have an extra special meaning for Jack Boyle and his family.

It will be a chance to celebrate a year since the five-year-old started bone marrow transplants which resulted in him overcoming a 10-month leukaemia battle.

While Jack was in Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital, the Darkan community came together to raise in excess of $10,000 when eight members participated in the shave.

Jack’s mum Samantha said she had been blown away by the community’s support last year.

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“We were at the hospital so I wasn’t there, but people made video calls so we could take part in a way,” she said.

“It really was a big effort for such a small community.”

So far Jack’s dad, Ashley, and his uncle Travis Lloyd, will both endure waxing to raise money this year while Ben King and Justin Vittiglia will both shave.

Mrs Boyle hopes they will be able to raise more than $5000.

“We’re viewing it more as a party to celebrate a year since the operations,” she said.

“We are so happy that we will be there this year to be a part of it.

“If we can, we’d love to make it a yearly event.”

This year the World’s Greatest Shave is celebrating its 21st year.

Every day 35 people across the country are diagnosed with blood cancer and 60,000 are living with the disease or related blood disorders.

More than two million Australians have taken part by shaving or colouring their hair over the past two decades and a target of $16.2 million has been set nationally this year.

Mrs Boyle said she wanted to use the event to help raise awareness of the importance of the bone-marrow registry.

“It was a very hard and tough 10 months that Jack battled for,” she said.

“He handled it very well because he went in as high risk but there wasn’t as many complications as they initially thought there could have been. It was amazing to see him come out the other side.”

The shave will take place at Darkan Sport Complex on March 30.

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