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Close shave to support cancer fight

NATALIE POLLEY AND SARAH ROBERTS
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014
Robyn Cargill
NERVOUS: The Jolly Barber hairdresser Robyn Cargill does a trial run with Emma Harper before she gets the big shave on March 10.

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Emma Harper is shaving her head in remembrance of the friend she lost to leukaemia.

The South Auckland mother-of-three wants to show her children that one person can make a difference.

"You may not be able to save one person but one person can make a difference in the lives of many," she says.

The late Emma Hounsell, a former Meadowbank resident, died, aged 41, on August 12 last year..

She and Mrs Harper worked together at Counties Manukau Health. Their husbands, both doctors, are also friends.

During Mrs Hounsell's bout with cancer the Harpers were there to offer support to her family.

"Sometimes it's families and children that need the most support when a family member is diagnosed with a disease like leukaemia," Mrs Harper says.

She is taking part in Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand's signature fundraising event Shave for a Cure and will shave her head on Monday in an act of support for leukaemia sufferers and their families.

"Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand do amazing work supporting family members, which is one of the reasons I wanted to do something to help."

She admits to being "really nervous" about the upcoming shave in her regular hair salon, the Jolly Barber in Drury.

"It's going be a challenge and the kids are scared I might be sad after," she says.

Her children's schools have also offered their support.

Karaka Learning Centre collected gold coin donations for the cause during Children's Day on March 2 and Ramarama School is also donating.

Mrs Harper's fundraising goal is $2500 and when the Manukau Courier went to print she had already raised $2255.

Shave Week is from March 17 to March 23 when thousands of Kiwis will shave their heads and fundraise to support Kiwis diagnosed with a blood cancer or related condition.

See Emma Harper's Shave for a Cure profile at my.leukaemia.net.nz/emma.

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- Manukau Courier

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