Epworth staff step up and shave for a special teammate

April 8, 2021 BY

Dr Brian Reynolds having his head shaved during the fundraiser.

FOUR Epworth Geelong staff have shaved their heads in a show of support for a popular colleague who has leukemia.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) doctor, Brian Reynolds, was diagnosed with leukaemia in late 2020.

After overcoming the shock of his news, the tight-knit team at Epworth Geelong ICU rallied around Brian and decided to do something to support him and his family.

ICU consultant Dr Haran Sathianathan, ICU associate nurse unit manager Luke McMartin and husband and wife duo, hospital coordinator Richard Farvis and ICU nurse Toni Mills, all took up the challenge of being part of the World’s Greatest Shave.

Dr Reynolds also had his locks removed on the day.

The shave has already raised more than $10,000 via a GoFundMe page, silent auction and sausage sizzle.

The funds will be shared between The Leukaemia Foundation Building of Hope Accommodation Centre and the Epworth Medical Foundation Ethel Gray Benevolent Fund.

Organiser Luke McMartin said it was an easy decision to farewell his long hair and submit to his first haircut in four years.

“I thought that given how long my hair was, people might support the cause and donate a few dollars,” Mr McMartin said.

“As the idea of the fundraiser formed, other people wanted to be a part of it and that is when the campaign really blossomed.

“It has taken a collective effort; Toni, Rich, Haran and of course Brian stepping up and getting their heads shaved.

“Sue Hands did so much work behind the scenes to make this campaign the success it has become.”

Many members of the ICU have worked together since Epworth Geelong opened almost five years ago and consider themselves like family.

“Working as a member of a small team, in a very high pressure and high stakes environment, you inevitably go through many intense and challenging experiences together,” Mr McMartin said.

“That makes you realise how much you rely on, and appreciate, the people around you.

“You trust them, you celebrate their wins and you rally around each other when times are tough.

“Brian is a member of our ICU family and so, of course we wanted to support him and his wife, Amanda, in any way we could after his diagnosis last year.”

The shaved hair was donated to Sustainable Salons – a charity organisation which turns ponytails into wigs for those who have lost their hair due to cancer and turns shorter hair clippings into compost and floating beams to absorb oil spills at sea.

Financial donations can be made until Friday, April 9, at gofundme.com/f/supporting-charities-with-dr-brian-reynolds.

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