by Lucy Balona

CANSA’s 10th Shavathon

Shave it, spray it, stencil it or gel it!

Support those who fight bravely
Join the Cansa Shavathon
The first Shavathon was held in the Eastern Cape in 2003 as a way to show solidarity or support for those fighting by cancer, as losing hair is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Participants show support by donating a fee to shave or colour-spray hair, with some using fun stencil shapes of a star, butterfly, flower, soccer ball, lightning bolt and the word ‘warrior’.
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) celebrates its 10th year of hosting CANSA Shavathon events in 2013. Thye encourage everyone to take part from 25 February to 2 March at their workplace or at a shopping centre by shaving, spraying, stencilling or – new for 2013 – gelling hair for a R50 donation (kids under 12, only R25). 
The donation is used by CANSA to provide a service to the public and all people affected by cancer. As a leading role-player in cancer research (more than R6 million spent annually), the scientific findings and knowledge gained from CANSA’s research is used to realign its health programmes as well as strengthen its watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.
CANSA started the countdown to the 10th Shavathon by hosting a mini-Shavathon recently. Special guests included 13-year-old student Matthew Moffet, a high-functioning autistic who had been growing his hair for a year in order to shave and show his support for cancer survivors. His head was shaved by CANSA chief executive and cancer survivor, Sue Janse van Rensburg.  
Also showing support is Sizwe Lawrence Ndlovu, 2012 Olympic rowing gold medallist, whose mother passed away from cancer. “I’m taking part in Shavathon to honour my mother, who was a pillar of strength to me. I want to ensure that others, especially other mothers, become aware of cancer and assist and show their support,” he explained. 
Corporates, workplaces and schools can show their support, register and order supplies on www.shavathon.org.za, or at the nearest shopping centre on Saturday 2 March.
Janse van Rensburg says, “It’s our 10th Shavathon, and we challenging all South Africans to show their support in the fight against cancer and for cancer survivors. We are excited to introduce, for the first time, colour gel for those wanting a funky hairdo”.
Become an online Champion

CANSA offers an online platform for volunteers and corporate South Africa to take part as online ‘Champions’, by raising funds and standing the chance to win lots of prizes:
Join by clicking the ‘Like’ button on CANSA’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CANSAShavathon) and join CANSA's online community and help spread the word far and wide. Visit www.shavathon.org.za to sign up today, or make a secure online donation.
Janse van Rensburg concludes, “Everyone can take part, so become a volunteer, register your company to host a Shavathon, or register as an online Champion and help raise funds.”
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