Rankin shaves it close for Cancer Society

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 05:00 27/12/2012
Anna Rankin
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
ENTHUSIASTIC: Badminton star Anna Rankin shaved her head to raise $7000 for cancer research through the New Zealand Cancer Society.
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Top New Zealand badminton player Southlander Anna Rankin has raised more than $7000 for the Cancer Society after shaving her locks this month.

Rankin - who lost her mother, Gwenda, to cancer in 2010 - said she had asked for the money raised through an online fundraising website go towards cancer research.

December has been a big month for Rankin, who just graduated with a physiotherapy degree and is heading to Malaysia to represent New Zealand.

She dropped by the Invercargill branch of the Cancer Society last week to meet with staff and discuss fundraising efforts so far.

Society promotions co-ordinator Debbie Jamieson said she was thrilled with the donation.

Rankin said she planned to keep open the website in case more donations trickled in during the holidays.

Her hair was about 30 centimetres long when it was shaved. It wasn't as hard as she thought it would be to let it go, she said.

Like many, she was aware of the impact of cancer on individuals and families who had lost a member to the disease, though after her mother's death the fundraising had more personal resonance, she said.

"I've become more aware of how prevalent [cancer] is now."

Rankin began raising money about six months ago with the goal of reaching $5000 - she was wowed by the support she received. While most donations were $20 to $25, one business gave $1000.

"I think people's generosity reflects how many are dealing with cancer," she said.

To donate to Rankin's fundraiser, go to fundraiseonline.co.nz/annarankin/

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