Not enough people know about leprosy so Natasha is shaving her head in a bid to tell the world that it’s a 21st century disease

A Newcastle University student will have her long glorious locks shaved off on 2 February to show solidarity for leprosy-affected people across the globe.

Zoology student Natasha Brisbane-Nash, 20, researched leprosy for an A-Level project.  Her discovery about what can be, if left untreated, a deeply-disabling and stigmatised disease, has never left her.

She said: “I was really struck by how marginalised people affected by leprosy became as a result of stigma surrounding the disease. I wanted to raise money for The Leprosy Mission in order to support these people but didn’t have time to climb a mountain or anything like that at the present time.

“So I thought I would shave my head! I’ve always had long hair and thought people would notice that I looked different without it. I think I would feel exposed with no hair, just as people affected by leprosy would feel cast out.  

“People are bound to notice that I’ve shaved my head and ask why so it gives me the perfect opportunity to tell them about leprosy and why I’ve chosen to do this to set myself apart from the norm.”

Natasha is on target to raise £2,000 to benefit The Leprosy Mission’s life-changing overseas projects by carrying out her head shave on 2 February at her student house in Jesmond. (She tells us that her dad wants to her to have hair for her 21st birthday on 27 January!) She will be donating her hair to Little Princess Trust, a charity providing real hair wigs to children suffering hair loss.

Passionate to further reach out to people affected by leprosy, Natasha has signed up to travel to The Leprosy Mission’s Anandaban Hospital in Nepal in September where she will spend 10 days volunteering ahead of completing a three-day fundraising trek in the Himalayas to benefit the hospital.  This is part of The Leprosy Mission’s Awakening activities for young people.

If you would like to sponsor Natasha’s head shave, please visit her JustGiving page.

« back to latest news