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Why We Do Shavathon

We asked WHY you participate in Shavathon – and it makes for some inspirational reading:

Ewald: A few years back family members was in a car accident and my aunt came off very bad from it. She developed cancer since the accident and had little time to live. After chemo and experimental drug she struggled through it and came out smiling on the other side. We have a family Whatsapp group and I posted my before and after photo’s on there and she came back immediately that I have just made her day as she was on her way to do more test today. My hope for many, is that they can have a turn around like she had and proved the doctors wrong in saying she only had 6 months…

Debbie: In celebration with all the survivors: Phyllis, Wendy. In support of all the sufferers: Nico. In memory of those who lost the battle: Ma Magriet, Pa Clem, Oupa George, Uncle Tok, Kylie.

Gabrielle: Last year was my 1st time participating in the CANSA shavathon. I donated & shaved my hair in memory my of my grandfather, my two uncles, other friends & family members who have/had cancer, for those who have lost the battle & those who are still fighting. It was quite an emotional year for me. A person doesn’t realise how much emotion goes into “losing” your hair. I had a small taste so to say how a cancer patient must feel without their hair. It was most definitely worth the sacrifice from my part, just knowing that my hair was going to be made into a wig & bring happiness to a cancer patient. This year I couldn’t donate my hair as it isn’t long enough as yet, so I decided to spray it to keep up the Shavathon spirit.

Agatha: Have had a lot of family and friends affected by cancer. Two cleared of breast cancer, my father still suffers from skin cancer and a few others. Believe it is a worthy cause. Donated nearly 50cm of my hair, which hopefully could be a wig or two.

Anonymous: I’m 21 years old I’m did the shavathon for everyone that is busy fighting cancer and all the survivors but mainly for myself. I was diagnosed with Hodkins Lymphoma in my neck and chest end of november 2012 and I started 6 cycles (12 sessions) of ABVB chemotherapy and all the glands went down but it wasn’t cured. My oncologist then sent me for high dose chemo for 4 days a month, I did 2 months and my neck wouldn’t stop swelling so I chose to stop it. Then I was sent for 6 weeks of radiation from my jaw to the top of my lungs which has controled it. This year I went for a CT scan because I was coughing and the oncologist said that there was a lot of fluid around my lung and she took some fluid out for tests. When the tests came back I foud out that there were cancer cells from the lymphoma in the fluid but it was very diluted so I asked for something to guarentee it was cancer because I didn’t want to go for chemo a third time I wanted to remove the lung. My oncologist sent me for a lung biopsy and the surgen did a whole lung opperation he cut the lining and removed the fluid and stuck my lung back together. I got the results back 2 weeks ago and it is cancer again. I’ve relapsed 3 times in 1 year. I now start a stronger chemo on the 17th of March and after chemo I’m going for a stem cell transplant. The best thing that came out of all of this is I met my girlfriend at chemo on the 20th of febuary 2013 and we’ve been dating for 8 months now. She had exacly the same cancer and she’s cured now.

Amanda: I shaved and sprayed with my boys this year for my friend and my grandfather both of them have died from Cancer and I decided since my friend couldn’t do the crazy hairstyles I would do this for her. she is my inspiration.

Arisha: I have been participating in the Shavathon since its inception, where I volunteered. I have lost friends to this dreaded disease, and have had family members affected by it too. I am currently on a mission to grow my hair as long as possible for the next Shavathon, and made a monetary contribution towards research with the current no makeup selfie initiative. Every little counts in my opinion .

Asmaa’: One of our dear employees was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer this year. He has decided to dedicate much of his remaining time to raise awareness and Funds for cancer. causes He will be finishing off with us at the end of Feb (Friday) and we decided that the best way to say farewell to him, would be to host a CANSA Shavathon so that we could raise money for something he is passionate about. We have already raised R4 500 from internal employee donations, and hope to raise much much more on the day of our Shavathon. This employee is so close to all our hearts and we really are hoping our Shavathon will show him how much.

Barbara: As a cancer survivor, I support all the work done by Cansa. Every year I shave my head completely in loving memory of many dear friends who walked the road with me, some survived, but many did not. We need to work together to get rid of this awful disease that afflicts so many people. Well done CANSA for all you do.

Belinda: The reason why I participate in the shavathon every year since 2008 is because I know what this disease is and what it can do. My gran got sick with Cancer and there was nothing that could be done for her. She passed away but she went through a very tough time, she was not the first person to be taken from us because of this disease. I have made a pledge to do what I can to wn this fight. I have attached a photo not of just me but bothe my daughter and I participating in the shavathon.

Candice: I know too many people who have had or have cancer and the reason I took part in the Shavathon was to create a talking point of how awful cancer is and too remind people how important it is to go for annual pap smears, mammograms, prostate checks and not to ignore your body when it tells you something is wrong. Well done to CANSA for the incredible work you do

Charmaine: We chose to participate in Shavathon for Children with Cancer in particular, but our learning, love and support went out to all Cancer Survivors and those who have passed on from Cancer. My daughter (8) and I donated our hair for wigs. (Today in fact, 31 March at 12:45pm our dear friend and a mother of 4 children passed away from a short, intense battle with cancer).

Dawn: I am participating this year for my beloved aunt that I lost in December last year after she fought a long and hard battle against cancer, unfortunately the cancer won despite her faith and fighting ability, she had breast cancer 12 years ago and it went away, came back 10 years later, lots of chemo later and it was gone, we thought she had won the battle but then it came back with a vengeance and she gave up the fight to join my uncle whom we lost a year before to cancer. I am so tired of this disease affecting so many people I love.

Denis: For my mom who fought and won against breast cancer, for my friend Wendy Little for is still fighting the good fight and is an inspiration.

Dhiren: To show support to all the brave people fighting this disease.

Edward: I dodged a bullet with brain cancer when I was younger and heard of so much that has suffered with it Thus I support Cansa for what they stand for and what they try and do for those who suffers from this terrible disease

Erica: I participated in the CANSA Shavathon for a number of reasons. The main purpose was, of course, to support CANSA in their endeavour to help cancer patients and survivors. I donated my hair to be used for wigs when I cut it. I wanted to show my support of those fighting cancer and to show solidarity, too. In addition to this, my friends and family donated on my GivenGain profile and together we managed to raise over R5000 towards CANSA. Since the Shavathon, though, I’ve discovered that I have also benefited from this experience. It’s been an opportunity for me to grow and develop as a person. My shaved hair serves as a reminder of how blessed I am to be well and healthy. It is also a lesson in humility – there are far bigger issues out there than me and my hair (or lack thereof). Lastly, it reminds me that I am not my looks: it is my character and not my appearance that defines me.

Eunice: I believe that its important to show anyone suffering from cancer that they are not alone- that we may not understand how they feel but just to let them know that we are there when ever thy need help, to talk or just a shoulder to cry on, we are here for them – no matter what. Am doing this for every kid and adult that had or has to go through this process in their lives.

Greg: I’ve had skin cancer. A very good friend had cervical cancer in her 20s. she’s in remission, but appreciates my support.

Heleen: I am participating for the first time this year for my partner’s mother. She has been struggling with Leukemia for a very long time now. That’s not all. I look up to this woman because she’s such a strong person, and even though she is very sick Sometimes, she stil speaks out to people and continue her job. Leaving the house early and coming home late in the evenings after her meetings is not quite what I think someone should be doing at her age and also the condition she is in. I take my hat of for her. Because sometimes she is so tired and will be in bed not being able to get out, where she will still be worrying about what she has to do. I did my shaving of all my hair today for this woman and that I can also have such dedication and strength that she’s got even struggling with an terrible illness. This is my picture I’m sending two since the one I have combined of how I used to look with my long hair and after I shaved it today. And also one where I sat where the cut the hair off. Thank you so much to give me the opportunity to be able to have done this today. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Helena: Thanks so much for raising awareness. We have participated yet again in the Shavathon today with our whole family. I have climbed Kili last year with all Cansa wraps on my head for my mom to support her as a cancer survivor and also still current cancer patient with chronic leukemia.

Lillian: I think your organization is just amazing and so vital in South Africa, I am so excited to be able to enter your shaveathon competition, I wasn’t even aware that you were holding one, so I thought why not, as I wasn’t able to participate in the latest shaveathon so I took apon myself a month ago to contact Esti at CANSA and enquire about donating my hair, she gave me all the important info as well as a poster I requested to hand in to my salon regarding donations of hair which they are so happy to advocate for you, look for Fringe Benefits hair salon on Facebook for their site and see the lovely ladies who are donating. My cellphone number is and I’ve attached some pics of my hair donation too all the best for the future and I hope I can help in some small way again soon.

Jandre: I was diagnosed with cancer on 9 May 2012 and after 9 months’ of chemotherapy now I’m a survivor.

Jasmita: I’m participating in the shaveton in memory of my mom who sadly passed away due to a brain tumor & because i know whats it like to lose someone u love to cancer!

Jean: My grandmother is a cancer survivor. I shaved my head for her! Attached is a selfie of my brother and I (I’m the one with pink in my ‘hair’). Keep up the good work, guys!

Jolene: I am a registered nurse and when I worked at a lab I had to draw blood from oncology patients. Saw their journey from beginning to end. Some happy endings, some not.

Madeleine: I arranged with Anita (your people) to visit our corporate company last week Friday. I sprayed my hair because I still believe, although I lost my dad to blood cancer.

Fernanda & Paul: We did it for my mother in law who passed away in 2011 who had a long battle with breast cancer and it spread over the years I donated my hair and hubby shaved. Thank u for doing such a great job

Marty: This was about my 7th CANSA Shavathon. My uncle died on 1st March +/-16h00, as a result of a melanoma which resulted in a brain tumour. He was one of the people who I shaved my head for today. He had the tumour removed in January 2014 and although he was in rehab after having spent most of January & February in hospital, he was not doing well at all, with deminished brain function, way below normal levels. He will be missed. RIP Herman Slegtenhorst.

Marvelous: We hosted Shavathon on 25March at the UCT Commerce council to raise funds. We do this annually with Kopano residence. This year it was special to me because I understand the value in it and would like to be more involved in CANSA programs. It was really a pleasure and an honour to do so and would love doing so again. Thanks Cansa for showing care

Michelle: Today I was part of the Cansa Shavathon 2014. I invited groups of people on whatsapp to join me on this day where one can make a huge difference… But today I realised that not everyone is aware of how big of a threat Cancer is… None of the people I invited joined me today I realised that until people has not experienced the loss of a family of friend or has been through it with someone they know, they just don’t care as much. I want to make people aware of Cancer and how it is taking more and more life’s… Today I truly hoped I inspired some of the people I know and showed them that even the smallest thing can be something Big in another persons life! Today I tributed the day to my father after surviving cancer for the second time and to my 19 year old friend I lost to cancer and all my family and friends that live with cancer… I donated 47cm of my hair to the cause and then went and got it sprayed… I know I did not change the world or helped save lifes… but today I learned… I can make a difference even in the smallest way… Thank you CANSA Shavathon for making this day, a day I learned possibilities… And thank you to everyone who helped, God bless all of you… you are angels from heaven.

Michelyn: I did this in memory of my gran that passed away because of lung cancer.

Morne: Thank you Cansa Shavathon for the fantastic work that you are doing and for all their supporters.
My sister was cured from leukemia and like her many others (young and old)can only benefit from the wonderful work that you are doing in this country.We say thank you !

Naven: My story is a little unusual. Owing to unforeseen circumstances this year, I could not make it to one of the shavathon events this year. So a week later (09/03/2014) I sat in my garage and used a hair clipper to shave off all of my hair. I then proceeded to make an online donation on the CANSA website. I did this because raising awareness about cancer is extremely important to me. My family and I have been through the emotional and physical roller coaster associated with this disease (having had 3 members being diagnosed with different cancers and unfortunately losing 2 members to the battle). Therefore in memory of my loved ones and in support of all those who fight this terrible disease daily, I have shaved my hair of for the past 5 years. I most certainly could not miss a year. Yes there is a bail out fee, but having the courage to take off my hair, stand proud and tell people why I have done it – is what matters. Being in the medical field, I would hope that some day I can make a difference in treatment, prevention and cure of cancer. But for now it is my duty to aid in empowering cancer patients and survivors and raising awareness. I look forward to participating in the future, attending and lending a hand for future events. Thank you CANSA for providing us with these opportunities.

Nicolette: My name is Nicolette Coetzee and I shaved my hair for a sweet and wonderful aunt who passed away two weeks ago. She did not deserve the way she went.

Noleen: I am currently fighting breast cancer myself. So had support from friends yesterday too!

Previn: I participate in Shavathon yearly in honour of my late grandmother. She passed away due to Cancer and has been a great influence on my life. Being the Troop Scouter of the Chatsworth Scout Group CYC, I, together with my scouts participate in SHAVATHON every year, the project has become part of our yearly program and is something that we look forward to.

Suzanne: This is so special, thank you for the mention. I loved every minute of it. I have kept my hair pink in support of those still fighting the good fight and those that have earned their angels wings. Count me in for any future events. I am a proud Breast cancer survivor and I keep up the fight for those that are still on this journey and for those that have earned their angels wings. Proudly a pink haired supporter

Taryn: I participate each year in the Shavathon (although I don’t shave, only colour) in memory of my previous boss, Tony Williams, whom passed away in December of 2009 of Cancer.

Thabi: I’m participating for a late friend of mine who are died of Bone Cancer. I deeply miss her and I know if she was around she would do this for me.

Tracey-Lee: I decided to participate in this year’s CANSA Shavathon and shave some of my hair in honour of an amazing young woman who passed away from breast cancer nearly 12 years ago. Lauren Naidoo was the most beautiful woman with long dark hair and fabulous style! She lost the battle against cancer on 27 November 2002 at the age of 27. She was my greatest earthly role-model and was an immense source of inspiration and strength, especially when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis almost 14 years ago. It was my time to honour her and the exceptional life she led and also to express how grateful I am for my own life. I am to this day very close to her family and her mother is like my second mom. The other reason for my decision stems from my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Being on Methotrexate, which is also used to treat cancer, I suffered from many chemotherapy-like side-effects for many years. The nausea and hair loss was the greatest of these. But thankfully I have such masses of hair, that the constant hair loss has never been noticeable. And so I have so much to be grateful for.  On 28 February, after thinking I’d only spray my hair, I decided to shave off a section of my hair to honour an amazing woman and stand in unity with all of those who have lost the battle, won the fight or are daily taking up their armour against this destructive disease.

Varla: I shaved to honour all the people I know who have beaten cancer, are now resting after a long battle or are still fighting.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in Shavathon 2014 and for helping CANSA to support those affected by cancer!

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