Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Daniel O'Donnell's wife Majella shaves her head on TV to raise money for cancer

Daniel and Majella O'Donnell
Daniel and Majella O'Donnell

Daniel O'Donnell's courageous wife Majella took the brave decision to shave her head on national television so that she could "take control" of the hair loss associated with her chemotherapy.

The 53-year-old took her breast cancer fight into Irish homes last night after she decided to have her hair publicly shaved on the 'Late Late Show' to raise awareness of the disease.

However, there was such a sudden flood of donations that the entire system collapsed.

"We've had such a terrific volume of support from all over the country that it caused the server to crash. Our technical team are re-booting the system but all texts are being processed," a spokeswoman from the Irish Cancer Society told the Irish Independent.

Majella got a standing ovation as the last of her locks were sheared off.

Describing the feeling of her bald head as "fab", she then donned a bobbed blonde wig.

"Hair is every woman's crowning glory but I know mine is going to grow back in a few months' time," she said of her decision to shave her hair.

"I was going to lose it anyway and I could not bear the thoughts of it falling out. That would make me feel sick and I would feel then that I was ill. For me, I want to lose it on my terms and take control of when I lose it.

"I want to take control of the hair loss associated with my chemotherapy, which I start this Thursday, by deciding when and where to shave my head.

"Having spoken to Daniel, we agreed that we would like to use this as an opportunity to raise awareness and funds."

And she said that despite her strong faith, she can't pray for her own recovery.

"I can't sit down and say 'God help me' because I don't feel that I need help. I can't explain it and if it was a friend of mine diagnosed with cancer, I'd be praying for them, but I can't seem to do it for myself.

"I know that so many people are praying for me and that amount of power creates power.

"It makes it easier for me to go through this. I feel that the prayer is lifting me; I don't know where it's coming from but I feel okay and I'm grateful for that."

She stressed this fundraising effort was the main reason behind her decision to have it shaved in such public fashion.

It was announced earlier this year that she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. However, both Majella and Daniel insist they are "hopeful of a full recovery".

The singer-songwriter was unable to join his wife on the RTE show last night as he is touring in the US and is playing in Toledo, Ohio tonight. The couple were married in 2002 in a high-profile wedding in his home village of Kincasslagh.

CEO of the Irish Cancer Society John McCormack paid tribute to Majella for taking the huge step of shaving her hair on national television.

"The Irish Cancer Society fully support Majella and I personally commend her for bringing light on to such a painful time in her life. In doing this, Majella will help other people out there now with breast cancer know that they are not going through this alone."

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