Shaving for a cause
When Beau Nicholson picks up the clippers, he's not only raising awareness for an important cause but is reminded of someone close to his heart.
The Henderson man lost his 20-year-old brother Dane in 1995 when he drowned swimming at a Te Atatu gym.
Dane had suffered an epileptic seizure - a side effect developed from the level of chemotherapy he received while battling leukaemia as a one-year-old.
The death of his older brother was an understandably tough process for Mr Nicholson, who was 17 at the time.
"It was pretty unreal and not what I grew up expecting," he says.
"We were quite different in a lot of ways but had a really close bond.
"We played a lot of backyard cricket and used to fight like most brothers do," Mr Nicholson remembers.
The 36-year-old will lose his locks on Friday when he takes part in Shave for a Cure to help Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand raise funds for further development in cancer research.
Shave for a Cure week runs March 17 to 23 where thousands of Kiwis shave their heads in exchange for donations.
Mr Nicholson hopes to raise $5000 and kind-hearted donors have given more than $2000.
The organisation aims to generate $1.75 million to help continue to fund services supporting patients and families living with blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
Mr Nicholson says it would be great to one day live in a world free of cancer and is proud to help contribute toward better research.
"The more that's done, the closer we can get to prevention.
"Because Dane was so young at the time of diagnosis, doctors treated it with high doses of chemotherapy.
"He was only 17 months when he went through treatment and his doses were very heavy.
"Now they know there are side effects to that," he says.
Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand's communications manager Georgie Hackett says it's humbling seeing participants shave for a cure.
"Shaving is a brave thing to do and it's also very empowering.
"Participants are helping six Kiwis diagnosed with a blood cancer or a related blood condition every day," she says.
Shave for a Cure is in its 14th year and more than 1000 people have signed up so far.
Visit shaveforacure.co.nz, click donate and type in Beau Nicholson to give to the cause.