On the 3rd November 2016, I am going to shave my head to raise funds and awareness for the Meningitis Now Charity!

“You’re doing what?” I hear you say!

Yes you understood correctly, I am going to shave my precious locks. Having summited Kilimanjaro and hiked to the Basecamp of Mount Everest it was not enough for me to take on another physical challenge. I wanted to do something that would really stir something deep within me. Something that would be felt long after the event is over.

On the 3rd November 1985, I contracted Meningitis. I had been unwell the previous day and a visit to the Doctor revealed nothing more than a common cold. My condition continued to deteriorate and the following day I showed no signs of improvement. Weak and limp at this stage, my parents recall putting me to bed to find me a little while later with my neck locked back and my eyes completely rolled in my head.

I was rushed to the hospital where a Lumbar Puncture (and the beginning, for me, of a lifelong fear of needles) confirmed Meningitis. I did not respond to initial treatment and my parents were told to expect the worst. I was transferred by ambulance to another hospital which had a specialised children’s unit. Birt, my childhood teddy, accompanied me on this journey and was by my side the whole time. Thankfully, I began to respond to treatment and my mum reports me singing ‘Away in a Manger’ to Birt as I began to recover.

I am blessed to have no disabling side effects that many people experience when they suffer Meningitis. On the 30th July 2015 Aaron Devlin, who is from the same area as myself, lost his life to Meningitis at the age of 23. This was the first time I was really affected by the enormity of this disease and how lucky I am to have survived it. It was Aaron’s one year anniversary recently and I decided I wanted to do something to raise money for Meningitis and in celebration of Aaron’s life.

I decided I would shave my head because for a female there is such a stigma attached to her hair. A female’s hair is her crowning glory. A symbol of her beauty. Our hair is always on public display and one of the first things others will notice about us. We females spend so much money and time in the hairdressers which is a multi-million pound industry, confirmation of how having our hair done makes us feel good about ourselves. I feel that shaving my hair off is a real symbol of liberation. No-one should have to suffer the devastating effects of Meningitis.

From a spiritual perspective, Meningitis represents the part of the child’s being that has not fully integrated. Being a child of the stars, any stellar movement can have a huge impact on the being that has come into an earthly journey, manifesting as Meningitis. The two halves of the being find it difficult in that moment to integrate together and it causes rigidity and a build-up of pressure in the brain, which expresses itself through the rigidity in the neck and also an influx of bacteria into the cerebral spinal fluid. I am, and always have been, guided by the stars. On the weekend I contracted Meningitis, Halley’s comet was making its way towards the earth.

Within my Rainbow Lighthouse family, I have always been known as Joan of Arc. When Roisin first met me she shared with me that Joan of Arc was guiding me in this lifetime.

Joan of Arc was a true warrior, brave and courageous. She had her hair shaved by force before her execution. On the 3rd of November I will shave my head willingly as a symbol that she is not dead, she is alive! Her words will bring comfort to me: ‘I am not afraid, I was born to do this’.

On the 3rd November, 31 years after my diagnosis, the Rainbow Lighthouse family will gather together in an energy of total support as I leave behind all that no longer serves me. All the memories and traumas that are held within my hair will be offered up in love.

I look forward to sharing with you all pictures of me rocking the shaven head look.

So please visit my Justgiving page and leave a donation. By contributing you will help to raise much needed funds and awareness for Meningitis. You will help save lifes.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emma-Henry8