Heads bared to help mother

For mum . . . Maggie Garden (centre) gets hugged by her children Chris and Amy Millar, who have their heads shaved in Dunedin on Sunday to raise money to get their mother cancer treatment. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The heaters may need to be cranked up in a Dunedin hall of residence to warm more than 20 students who shaved their heads to help send a security guard to Australia for cancer treatment.

Twenty-three Cumberland College residents had their heads shaved at Aart On Saint Andrew salon on Sunday in a fundraising event initiated by Kaikorai Valley chef Chris Millar.

Mr Millar offered to have his long, matty dreadlocks shaved off in an effort to raise the $40,000 needed to get his mother Maggie Garden to Australia for cancer treatment.

Ms Garden, of South Dunedin, has neuroendocrine tumours and carcinoid syndrome and needs peptide receptor radionuclide therapy to extend her life.

Mr Millar’s sister Amy Millar decided to shave off her shoulder-length hair for the cause, too.

Shaved siblings . . . Siblings Chris and Amy Millar prepare to have their heads shaved in Dunedin on Sunday. PHOTOS: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The crowd in the salon was bolstered to about 80 people by the entry of a group of students from the University of Otago college, where Ms Garden works as a security guard.

Ms Garden wiped away tears as she saw the students arriving.

“This is a real shock – it’s amazing,” she told The Star at the event.

University of Otago student Bex Galloway (18) was the only woman of the 23 students to have her head shaved.

Miss Galloway, of Wellington, raised $1600 for the cause, which boosted the total on a Givealittle page to more than $7200.

She decided to shave off her long hair because “Maggie is a big part of Cumberland College”.

After the final head was shaved, Ms Garden thanked her family and the students.

“But it doesn’t give you permission to misbehave,” she told the students.

Mr Millar said he was feeling “cold and light” without his dreads and beard.