Close shave for supportive students

23 August 2010 | Story by Newsroom
All off: (from left) Hamish Whittal, Prof Jenny Whittal and Andrea Brand.
All off: (from left) Hamish Whittal, Prof Jenny Whittal and Andrea Brand.

"I hope you realise this is the last time you'll ever be shaving a professor's head," quipped Associate Professor Jenny Whittal as student Andrea Brand began her assault with the electric shaver.

Whittal of UCT's Department of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics joined her students in having her head shaved at a very informal event on 20 August. Whittall has been diagnosed with cancer and is about to begin chemotherapy treatment, so as a show of sympathy and support, students joined her.

"Do your children know you're coming home like this,' asked one as Whittal's hair fell to the ground.

"Yes," replied Whittal, and they're not at all happy!"

She's simply following doctor's orders, explains Whittal. As instructed, most, but not all of her hair was shaved in preparation for the treatment. (If all the hair were shaved off, the hair might die in the follicle, and not grow back.)

"Oh, well," teased her husband, Hamish Whittal. "At least you're getting rid of your grey hairs."

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