Losing hair supporting loved-ones

Sara Knowles, left, cuts 9 year old daughter Jessica's hair off for the Shave for a Cure week.
Fairfax NZ

Sara Knowles, left, cuts 9 year old daughter Jessica's hair off for the Shave for a Cure week.

A shaved head feels "weird", eight-year-old Jessica Knowles says.

On Friday Jessica and her Fitzroy Primary School friends Maxwell Reesby, Jack Gilmour, Kalani Louis and Kohin Cooksley all had their heads shaved as part of the national Shave for a Cure week.

Jessica said her grandfather died earlier in the month and she was having her hair shaved off for him.

The youngster, who turned up at Gloss hair salon with her hair in several plaits, said the process was "scary" but having her mum Sara doing the cutting made it better.

However, even Sara said it was "nerve racking" seeing the clippers run through Jessica's long hair.

"I suggested it but thought she would just brush it off but she got really excited about it and supporting her granddad."

Jessica said her braids would be sent away and turned into a wig.

Kalani and Kohin said they too had grandparents who'd died from cancer and that was the reason they volunteered.

"I'm getting mine [shaved] bald," Kohin said.

While Jack didn't know anyone with cancer he was happy to shave because he "just wanted to help people."

It was the same for Maxwell who said he was "sad" to see his hair go but proud he did it.

Jack predicted it would take three months for his hair to grow back and said "maybe" when asked if he'd do it all over again.

When all was said and done the five children were quick to start rubbing each other's heads and all said it "felt weird."

"And when I put my beanie on it felt really weird," Maxwell said of his new do.

Between them the five students raised more than $4500 for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Nationally it's hoped $2 million can be raised and on Friday 1436 people had signed up as shavees and $621,940 had been raised.

 - Taranaki Daily News

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