On Saturday March 30, Annisa Korengkeng, 18, will be bald, brave and beautiful.
Annisa is of Indonesian descent and has beautiful wavy hair which she has kept long her entire life.
While many girls her age are spending hundreds of dollars to have hair like hers, Annisa is shaving hers off for a good cause.
Annisa is one of about 2500 people taking part in the 13th annual Shave for a Cure campaign to raise funds for Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
In 2012 “shavees” raised more than $1.4million and Georgie Hackett, of Leukimia and Blood Cancer New Zealand, says they are aiming to match or beat that number in 2013.
Ms Hackett says funds will go to patient support, advocacy and will be invested in cancer research.
Shavees shave their heads in support of those who lose their hair to cancer treatment. Friends, family and strangers sponsor shavees.
So far Shave for a Cure 2013 has raised $664,751 to help the six Kiwis a day diagnosed with leukemia and other forms of blood cancer.
According to the Shave for a Cure website, $5 produces one educational haemotology children’s book, $300 funds an education meeting to provide further information for patients and $6000 funds a summer internship where a student works on haemotology research.
Annisa has lost one friend to leukemia and had two more friends survive the disease so the cause is very close to her heart.
Annisa registered as a shavee on March 3 and is now coming in 16th place, having raised $2611 so far.
Social media helped Annisa’s campaign accelerate, as she used Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to promote her shave event.
Annisa admitted she didn’t think she would reach her original goal of $500 and had been tempted to pull out.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, but my family and friends are really supportive and I’m feeling really humbled by the experience so far.”
Leukimia and Blood Cancer New Zealand receives no government funding.