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Ellen shaves her head at Rhyl Christmas switch-on

Ellen Shepherd-Smith had her distinctive purple hair shaved off live on stage as part of Rhyl’s Christmas lights switch-on.


Ellen, 71, has had type 2 diabetes for over 20 years. She hopes her challenge will raise more awareness of the seriousness of the condition.

Ellen said, “I was feeling tired all the time and light-headed when I was diagnosed. I was told that I also had kidney disease, which is a common complication of type 2 diabetes. Looking back I must have been living with it without knowing for a long time."

Festive fundraising

The festive extravaganza on Rhyl High Street featured music and entertainment from local artists, before hair stylists from Body Beautiful Studio took to the stage to shave Ellen’s head.

Ellen continued, “I was nervous beforehand, but once I remembered why I was doing it and heard the encouragement from the crowd it was tremendous. When the announcer told them what I was doing and why there were gasps, and once the girls started they were clapping and cheering!

“Afterwards people came up to hug me and tell me about their families’ experience of diabetes, which meant a lot. One lady gave me a fluffy Santa hat for me to wear so that my head wouldn’t get cold!”

Support Ellen’s efforts

Ellen’s efforts have so far raised almost £150 and she is still collecting donations.

Ellen continued, “Lots of people don’t understand how serious diabetes is. I hope that by doing this I have raised more awareness; if it helps even a little then that will be a great reward. I also hope the money will help fund research to find a cure, so that young people especially no longer have to live with diabetes.”

Thank you so to Ellen for taking on this festive fundraising challenge!

You can still donate, with collection buckets available at Body Beautiful Studio, Wellington Road, Rhyl and Rhyl Coin and Stamp Centre, Sussex Street, Rhyl.

Try our free Know Your Risk tool to find out more about whether you may be at risk of type 2 diabetes.


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