Thousands of Australians, both men and women, will have their hair shaved or coloured as part of the World's Greatest Shave. The sponsored shaves are taking place between March 12 and 14 across the country and aimed at raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation.
Ask family, friends or workmates to sponsor you. In return for their donation they will get to see you with brightly coloured hair or no hair at all, says the Foundation.
Six mothers in North Rocks, suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, said they were proud to shave their heads in support of leukaemia patients who have lost their hair through chemotherapy, Hills News reported.
Jodie Budd, Julie Painter, Yashmin Arthur, Alex Treglown, Anu Suttie and Lesley Smyth from the North Rocks Public School team had their hair shaved yesterday morning and raised more than $1827 for the World's Greatest Shave.
Mother, hairdresser and team captain Ms Budd said she decided to organise the team for the event after her own experiences with cancer patients.
She was a regular visitor to her daughter's two-year-old friend in hospital when he had leukaemia, and shaved her hair for the first time five years ago when her sister was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
"Losing hair is a very personal and emotional thing for these patients, so by shaving we are showing our strength and support for them," Ms Budd said. "As a woman your hair is a big part of you and it can be traumatic to lose."
Ms Budd shaved her friends' heads yesterday before having her own head shaved.
Mrs Painter said she wanted to participate because of the financial support given to the families of leukaemia patients.
"I'm lucky because to shave my hair is a choice, but some people don't have a choice," Mrs Painter said.
She wanted to show her two primary school-aged children that a different appearance did not mean any internal difference.
"I'll show them that it's not going to change who I am on the inside, and the people who have lost their hair haven't changed either," she said.
The funds raised will help the Leukaemia Foundation to continue providing practical care and support to patients and families living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders. It will also fund research into better treatments and hopefully cures.
The Leukaemia Foundation is investing $3.1 million in research in 2009, funding over 40 projects across the country.
There is huge media support for the event.