Originally published by Stacy Thomas, Liverpool Leader, July 4, 2016 10:10am
It’s taken hours of planning to get the outfit and hair just right, but Mark Udovitch is happy with his “rip-off” celebrity images.
The Liverpool Hospital radiation therapist has been scheming with his girlfriend Lisa McLean.
Despite being done in jest, the reason behind it has a more serious tone.
“I had a patient who had breast cancer. She lost her hair after chemotherapy,” he said.
“She was distressed about the loss of hair ... more than surgery.
“It was harder for her than the mastectomy. It was such a profound thing to say.”
Mr Udovitch, 28, decided to grow his hair and donate it to a wig library. Two and a half years later, his luscious locks, which he normally wears in a man bun, are about to go. But not before he has a bit of fun.
“It all started with the first photo I did — Creed singer Scott Stapp. It got more than 150 likes (on social media),” he said.
“My favourite is Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. We’ve still got more to come over the coming weeks too.
“And I’ve made it obvious that if anyone donates, I’m asking them to recommend a celebrity for me to take off. There have been a lot I thought would be impossible.”
In just a short period of time, he’s raised more than $6000, all of it going to the Dry July campaign.
Dry July encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of July and raise funds for cancer patients, their families and carers.
Mr Udovitch said it was all just a bit of fun, but he loved the fact it had gained so much exposure. He will be shaving his head at the end of the month.
More than $17,500 has been raised this year for the Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre, including Mr Udovitch’s contribution. It’ll be spent on wellness programs, additional transport services, furniture and chemotherapy patient gazebo.
Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre supports the Liverpool, Fairfield and Bankstown local government areas.
More than 3100 adult cancer patients access services each year.