William Moore is shaving off all his hair after growing it for three years - for his cousin Sativa.

Sativa Eagle died in October 3, 2012, after a battle with cancer.

Sativa, twin sister to Indee, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on January 5, 2011, when she was just four months old.

Mount Maunganui electrician William Moore said he enjoyed every moment he had with his little cousin before she passed away.

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"Just being able to have cuddles and to hang out.

"The best part of her was she was such a fighter, right from the beginning when she was diagnosed with leukaemia, right to the end.

"She was always happy. Nothing ever happened that could wipe the smile off her little face."

The 21-year-old said he had not planned to grow his hair out but went on his OE and came home with longer-than-usual hair and a beard.

He then decided to keep growing it for as long as he could handle it, cut it off and raise money for Sativa's cause while he was at it.

Mr Moore said he would shave all of his hair off a week after Sativa's anniversary on October 8.

Donations made to Mr Moore's Givealittle page would go to Starship Hospital and Make a Wish foundation.

It would be weird to feel the wind on the back of his neck again, he said.

Sativa's mum, Sheree Roose, said William and Sativa were very close.

"It was pretty hard for the whole family. As a parent your grief surrounds you every day. You just learn to cope with it better. It's not so raw any more but coming up to her anniversary it gets quite hard and difficult for me.

"The fact that somebody else, without me mentioning it, is trying to help her legacy live on is really awesome. When William set the page up, I cried. It was so lovely."

Each year on Sativa's anniversary, Ms Roose would blow up purple balloons and light Chinese lanterns for her little girl, something she would do again this year to keep her memory alive.

What is leukaemia?

Leukaemia is the name given to a group of cancers that develop in the bone marrow. Under normal conditions the bone marrow contains a small number of healthy immature blood cells, sometimes called blast cells. These immature blood cells mature and develop into red cells, white cells and platelets, which are eventually released into the bloodstream.

https://www.leukaemia.org.nz/