It all started when Mia Richardson's friend Molly Croft was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, but now Mia's fundraising has developed a life of its own.
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Mia is about to shave her head for the second time for cancer, and she's only 13 years old.
Sarcoma is an aggressive cancer commonly occurring in children and young adults, and more than 25 per cent of children diagnosed with sarcoma do not survive beyond five years.
In 2022, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predicted sarcoma to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the 10- to 24-year age group and, alongside brain cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the 0- to 24-year age group.
Despite its prevalence, sarcoma receives comparatively little funding.
This is why Mia, who is in Year 8, is shaving again.
"I'm doing it again because I know that sarcoma doesn't have a lot of support and I want to give more support for the people that are suffering from it," Mia told the Daily Liberal.
She continued: "It's so doctors can find out why sarcoma is a thing."
The first time Mia shaved her head, she did it for her friend, Molly. This time, it's for research into the disease Molly was diagnosed with on her 12th birthday in 2018.
Molly endured months of chemotherapy, lost most of the bone in her leg and relapsed with metastasised cancer in her lungs in 2021.
"As soon as I heard that Molly had sarcoma, I wanted to help and do something. And I did something. I was eight when I did it," Mia said.
Mia will have her head shaved into a buzz cut at the The Tie Dye Festival, a TDP community event to be held at Heffron Park Netball Courts in Maroubra, Sydney, from November 17 to 19.
Attendees will tie dye thousands of products, with an objective of raising as much funding and awareness for sarcoma as possible.
Mia will shave her head on the Sunday, also aiming to raise as much funding as possible.
"The Tie Dye Festival was a good idea because it'll be in front of people ... I hope that with all the funding and the donations, it will help people actually know what sarcoma is ... " Mia said.
She said she was "excited" and "a little bit nervous" to be shaving her hair short again, like she did when she was eight.
"It'll grow back," she said.
Mia is continuing her mission to raise money for sarcoma because "it's the right thing to do".
"I want people to know what [sarcoma] is and try to find a cure for it, which is very important because a lot of young kids, tall kids, sporty kids, they suffer from this and it's not pleasant," she said.
Mia's mum, Miranda Richardson, said she was "super proud" of her daughter.
"She's very kind and this is one way she shows her kindness," Miranda said.
"She gives a lot. Her and Molly's friendship is really special ...
"If we can help find a cure or do something in a small way, then we've done our bit. Mia's more than happy to help."
Mia added: "By doing this shave I want people to know that you can spread kindness in any way that you want. Sarcoma is a thing and heaps of people are struggling with it and families with kids are struggling with it ... It's killing kids."
Mia's hair will be donated - for the second time - to Wigs for Kids, to help young kids with cancer look themselves.
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Molly said her young friend Mia has "a heart of gold".
"She's an amazing little girl," she told the Daily Liberal.
She continued: "When I got sick and heard that there was a little girl who I never thought in a million years I had touched her heart that much and was shaving her hair for me ... it was something that I still hold very close to my heart.
"Now, she's doing it again and for the Tie Dye Project. It's something very, very special to me."
Donate to Mia's fundraiser at https://mias-shave-for-sarcoma.raisely.com/
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