Carlin's hair not there
Being mistaken for a girl has been a regular occurrence for Carlin Dempster.
The 13-year-old has spent three years growing a long blond mane just so he could shave it off to make a wig for a teenage cancer patient.
When he made the decision aged 10 Carlin didn't realise how long it would take to grow his locks to 28cm - the minimum length needed for a wig.
But he's stuck it out, putting up with jibes from schoolmates and teachers at Opaheke School calling him a girl by mistake.
He reckons that's nothing compared to the problems of a teen who has cancer.
"They're going through chemotherapy and they've lost all their hair - but then they're getting mocked and having to put up with dipwits at school,"Carlin says.
"Sometimes they need a bit of support.
"I thought I might be able to help them make a wig so they can have some confidence in themselves."
As well as raising money for CanTeen Auckland, a charity that helps teenagers who have cancer, Carlin's ponytail will be combined with up to 15 other blond ponytails to create a wig.
He's looked after his hair well and even conditioned it a few times, resulting in a luscious blond mane any teenage girl would be proud of.
"I've taken pretty good care of it," he says.
"For a boy."
The shaving was done with much fanfare on Sunday at Opaheke School which helped put on a sausage sizzle, bouncy castles and a bake sale.
Carlin raised $1126 on the day and thanks to online donations has almost hit his goal of $2000 for CanTeen.
Donations to Carlin's cause can still be made online through canfans.org.nz. Search for "Carlin the Brave Shaves" to give him a hand.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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