Do something amazing to help beat blood cancer

| February 25, 2015

Blood cancer can develop in anyone, at any time. Alys Holz from the Leukaemia Foundation explains how you can change someone’s life by giving up your hair for a little while at the World’s Greatest Shave.

The hair on our heads – think about it. We dye it, fry it and style it to create an image of who we want to be. For many your hair is what makes you, you. But every March thousands of people are giving up that part of them, just for a little while, to change someone’s life for a long while. By shaving or colouring their hair for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave, they’re doing something amazing to help beat blood cancer.

Blood cancer can develop in anyone, at any time. With few clearly identified risk factors and sometimes no real warning, the impact is immense for the person diagnosed and their loved ones. This year 12,000 people will receive the devastating news that they have been diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or related blood disorder joining the 60,000 Australian’s currently living with a diagnosis.

Treatment for blood cancer can range from months to several years and in general lasts longer than treatment for other cancers. This can have a greater impact on relationships with others, education, career, and financial security. Families can suddenly find themselves in crippling financial circumstances, especially if the person or their carer is also the major breadwinner.

The Leukaemia Foundation receives no ongoing government funding and relies on the generous support from the community to continue to provide these services. World’s Greatest Shave is the key way we raise the necessary funds to support our important work.

Between 12 and 15 March more than 150,000 people will get involved in this iconic Australian fundraising event, getting sponsored to shave or colour their hair. It’s not too late to join them! Sign up now at

Over the 17 years since it began World’s Greatest Shave has raised over $178 million to support Australian’s living with blood cancer. Those funds are channelled into practical support services (such as information, resources, education and support programs, transportation to and from hospital, a ‘home-away-from-home’ in the Foundation’s fully furnished accommodation close to major hospitals, practical assistance and emotional support). All services are provided at no cost to patients or their family.

The Leukaemia Foundation also has an ongoing commitment to funding Australian research to improve treatments and find cures for blood cancers and related blood disorders. Over $30 million has been invested in cutting-edge research by the Foundation since 2005.

Your hair is a powerful thing when you decide to be without it for a while. Do something amazing to help beat blood cancer. Be brave and shave – sign up now or donate to a friend or stranger at