top of page

Fundraising for CANCER RESEARCH UK


Hello everyone,


I'm Kulvinder, a Board member of Surtal Arts, and my journey with the charity goes back almost 26 years, with both of my children learnt dance and music through Surtal. In June, I shaved my head for Cancer Research UK  because our director Gopa was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Please read more about my fundraising journey and give what you can using the link below - together we can help Cancer Research UK do more important work.  

My Story


I lost my mother in 2018 due to pancreatic cancer.  When she was diagnosed, she was told she only had few months to live and died with in 4 months. It was a great shock that there was no previous signs or symptoms.


However recently, I came to know that my dearest friend Gopa Nath, Artistic Director of Surtal Arts, had been diagnosed with cancer herself and needed to have her lymph nodes removed straight away. It really was heart breaking. I am a strong believer in the care system and confident that the health professionals will do everything in their power to help her. 


Nevertheless whilst she was going through chemotherapy, she started losing her hair which was very hard for her. One day when I visited her she was very down in her mood and showed me how much hair she was losing by putting both hands through her hair and showing me her fingers full of her hair and with tears in her eye. I had no words but wanted to lift her up and therefore said, 'don't worry, I will lose my hair too'.


I did not really give my words any thought whilst driving home, I think that I was still in a state of shock of her pain and suffering. When I got home I shared Gopa's experience and what I said to her with my partner Mike. He looked at me wonderingly and was clearly shocked. This is when I realised what I have said and what I meant.


Therefore wanted to raise fund for Cancer Research UK.  I decided to organise a small event which would show me having my head shaved front of people and at the same time raise funds. Featuring internationally reknowned musicians like Dharambir Singh MBE who have known Gopa for years, offered performances in support of the event, along with his whole talented family is musicians and dancers. 


With a help of other friends, I managed to organise a successful event called 'Strings of the Maestros' to appreciate Gopa's hard work with Surtal Arts over the past 30 years. Her passion to improve people's wellbeing through the arts over the years (drawing attention to diabetes, dementia and mental health and other conditions), nurturing emerging artists, as well as helping young people in education and the communities of Derby has touched many people's lives. So a numbers of local businesses and cultural organisations offered  to support the fundraiser too.

Thought of shaving my hair was scary for me but I felt a strong sense of empathy and solidarity with my friend Gopa, which gave me strength and sustainability. Compared with Gopa, I have had chosen to do this whilst she had no choice between hush treatment or losing your life, hence losing her hair which is a significant part of any women's identity. Neither, it is easy for an Indian woman to loss her hair. Historically, widows had to shave their head as their beauty was believed not to have a place without their husbands. 


So far I have raised £3500 through this event for Cancer Research UK and £3800 for Pancreatic Cancer Action. My target is to raise £10K to make a difference and I am not far off putting both charity funds together. I have been fortunate for raising generous amount of fund from very kind hearted people and like to reach out to those who would like to support me in my journey of shaving my head. Please support by donating to Cancer Research UK. Help me to help all of us, to not only fight cancer, but stump it out of its route for at least from our next generation.



Yours kindly  

Kulvinder Bola 

bottom of page