Shaving for the kids
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.