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The World’s Greatest Shave

04 April 2012 swimart

The World’s Greatest Shave

The World's Greatest Shave

Swimart Currimundi supports a cause close to their hearts

On 16 March, Swimart Currimundi on Queensland's Sunshine Coast underwent a new look as the staff shaved and coloured their hair in support of the World's Greatest Shave. In doing so, they raised $1500 for the Leukemia Foundation.

It's a cause that's close to the hearts of Swimart Currimundi owners Janelle and Darren Brown, because in 1995, Janelle was diagnosed with Leukemia.

"I immediately underwent treatment and a year later received a bone marrow transplant" Janelle says. "Thankfully the treatment was successful and I have been clear of Leukemia ever since.

"I thought doing the World's Greatest Shave would be a nice way to commemorate my experience and to help to raise funds for the Leukemia Foundation who do a terrific job helping people affected by blood cancer. I coloured my hair – I've spent enough time bald – but the rest of our Swimart staff took the plunge and set the shaver to their heads."

The young son of one of their customers is also afflicted with Leukemia. Nine-year-old Colby Speare, from Pelican Waters, spent 505 consecutive days in hospital after contracting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in January 2010. His condition was complicated by his autism and he faced a long and challenging treatment. Colby's mother Kim, and father Ken, stayed with him in hospital while Kim's parents looked after their other two children. As Colby was slow to respond to treatment, he had to undergo more intense chemotherapy, and he then contracted a serious fungal infection.The high dose steroids Colby took to treat this resulted in a painful condition called Avascular Necrosis, which caused parts of his bones to die. Colby is now confined to a wheelchair, unable to stand or walk.

Colby was then unfortunate enough to catch a virus which required him to stay in the hospital's infectious disease ward for 16 months, which meant he could have no contact with other oncology families and he couldn't use the ward's playroom, or the hospital's café or school. His only contacts were his parents and medical staff.

He is now, thankfully in remission and has gone home. His mum, Kim, says he has a wonderful attitude and always has a beaming smile. "My son is my hero," Kim says. "He's the bravest little boy I have ever met. I thank the Leukemia Foundation for all their help. It's a wonderful charity that has been there for not only Colby, but for our entire family all the way."

The World's Greatest Shave
The World's Greatest Shave is the biggest contributor of funds to the Leukemia Foundation's multi-million dollar research investment each year. The idea is to simply pledge to shave or colour your hair, or sponsor someone who is prepared to 'brave the shave', and you can help the foundation reach its $15 million goal. The money helps to support people with blood cancer and to fund important research – and it's tax deductible.

More than 11,500 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with blood cancer or related blood disorders each year. The Leukemia Foundation helps over 1000 families to relocate for treatment. It also provides education, emotional support and information to over 13,000 people in more than 90,000 face to face conversations and phone calls a year.