When Mia Fraser first considered shaving her head to raise money for charity, she had no idea that a few weeks later the cancer journey would touch her family.
Mia’s 27-year-old sister Alysha was diagnosed with breast cancer, which cemented Mia’s decision to join others at Garin College in the Shave for a Cure challenge.
Save for a Cure raises money for Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand, which supports patients and their families living with a blood cancer or a related blood condition.
“It wasn’t a huge decision for Mia,” says her mum Georgie. “All the sisters are very close.”
Mia was one of five Garin College students and two teachers who had their heads shaved, and together they have raised well over $7,500 for Shave for a Cure.
Maddie Hall always had long hair and, because it was over 35cm in length, was able to donate her hair to go toward making a wig. She says multiple people’s hair goes into making up one wig.
“I’ve always wanted to shave my head. I’m not worried about having my head shaved but wonder about the in between bit,” she says. “Also, cancer is pretty horrible and if I can help people, that would be great.”
Ethan Speers was thinking of his mum’s mum and dad’s dad who both passed away due to cancer. He was joined by his father, teacher Tom Speers, who says he had his head shaved to support Ethan.
Barber Kyle Crittenden, from Stormy’s Man Cave Barbershop, says he feels honoured to be part of Shave for a Cure.
“I think it is such a pivotal moment in girls’ lives when they choose to shave their head,” he says. “So much of their identity is in their hair. It’s extremely inspirational to see them do this.