Brothers shave for cancer battle
They may not have long locks to chop off, but two brothers are hoping their efforts will go far in support of the battle against blood cancer.
Sam and Matt Jones are shaving their heads next week as part of Shave for a Cure to raise money for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
The Onehunga pair were hit hard by the loss of their 14-year-old cousin Roderick Jones to a rare form of blood cancer in 2008.
"Roddy was basically my best friend so that was really tough," 21-year-old Sam says.
"People don't understand what cancer is about and the effect it has on families until they actually experience it for themselves." It wasn't until his younger brother Matt had his own scare with lymphoma two weeks before Christmas that Sam broke down.
"It was a shock and a bit upsetting but at the same time I had to get over it to help him out," Sam says.
The 19-year-old was given the all-clear on Christmas Eve. "I was quite scared," Matt says. "Roddy was so young when he died and it was quite hard to process because he was like a brother to us."
The brothers say they used to give their cousin a bit of stick for having a shaved head so it's only fair they give it a go themselves.
Thousands of people across the country will be shaving their heads next week in support of the six New Zealanders diagnosed with blood cancer every day.
Sam and Matt have already raised more than their original $500 target and have now set themselves a new goal of $1500.
Shave Week runs from March 17 to 23.
Go to tinyurl.com/AHNshavecure to visit Sam and Matt's fundraising page.
BLOOD CANCER FACTS
Six children and adults are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition every day in New Zealand.
Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer and lymphoma is the most common cancer in 15 to 24-year-olds.
Blood cancers are the fifth most common form of cancer in New Zealand.
The cause of blood cancer is unknown.
Go to leukaemia.org.nz for more information.