Shav­ing for the kids

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Cancer sur­vivor John Mea­clem is bring­ing back the bald look vol­un­tar­ily.

Stu­dents at Te Waotu School watched in awe as par­ents went un­der the sharp shaver to fundraise for CancerKids in­clud­ing Mea­clem’s two big­gest fans.

The in­spir­ing fa­ther raised $590 in six days for the cause that sits closer to home than most.

Mea­clem was di­ag­nosed with heart fail­ure in 2006 and with skin cancer in 2012.

Af­ter he was cleared from cancer, in Jan­uary 2013, he was in­formed he had a small brain tu­mour. Now he is on the pub­lic wait­ing list for surgery.

But that has not stopped the Far­mMe co-man­ager from help­ing chil­dren with cancer.

‘‘I think they are an amaz­ing bunch of kids.

‘‘I just pop in and have a laugh and take a teddy,’’ he said.

As a cancer sur­vivor him­self, he said he has helped af­fected fam­i­lies by talk­ing with them about his ex­pe­ri­ence. ‘‘They just fall apart. ‘‘It’s very scary when you get di­ag­nosed with cancer,’’he said.

Mea­clem said he wrote an ap­peal for do­na­tions on Face­book and Google+ and the com­mu­nity fronted gen­er­ously.

But he de­cided to par­tic­i­pate in the an­nual na­tion­wide shave be­cause of what he has been through.

‘‘ I un­der­stand to­tally the trauma that not only the kids go through but the fam­i­lies go through,’’ he said.

Four oth­ers took the plunge and shaved their hair in sup­port of Mea­clem.

‘‘ He’s brave,’’ Far­mMe team leader Kylie Leigh said.

She was pleased to see oth­ers adopt­ing the sleek style in sup­port of Mea­clem’s or­deal.

‘‘It’s good to see that it’s not just me that’s do­ing it,’’she said.

Par­ent Al­fred Miller said he had also been through cancer and had been clear for five years.

‘‘I just know how it feels,’’ he said.

Miller’s wife, An­gela shed her head of locks too.

Bryan Cole, par­ent to chil­dren at the school said he has seen what cancer can do.

‘‘I used to work in a hospi­tal and I see what it does to the kids,’’ he said.

The hair from the two women will go to­wards wigs for the chil­dren at Cancer Kids while pro­ceeds will go to­wards the cause through the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer Foun­da­tion.

Toko­roa bar­ber Ch­eryl Knight do­nated her time to shave the hair.

FEEL­ING LIGHT: Bryan Cole, left, John Mea­clem, Al­fred Miller adopted the sleek look in front of a crowd of in­spired school kids.

LOCKS GONE: Kylie Leigh said good­bye to her long locks for a good cause.

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