A brave cancer surviving couple who shaved their heads for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand yesterday, raised money and awareness for the cause.
During a lively charity lunch at JARKS Cafe in Waimarama, Sloan Woods, 72, and his wife Marion, 69, went under the clippers. Mr Woods came through thymoma cancer only to be diagnosed with prostate cancer a year later - while he was now in remission for both, doctors recently discovered red cell aplasia, which is completely unrelated. The disease prevents bone marrow from producing red blood cells, meaning he has to undergo weekly blood transfusions - it was also highly likely the condition would develop into leukaemia.
Wife Marion Woods, 69, had breast cancer, which she overcame with radiation, and they have a grand daughter who had myeloid leukemia at 18 months old - she too was in remission and is about to turn 13. "Two or three weeks ago my husband was getting treatment to boost his immune system - there was a woman in the bed next door to him, she was being told the ins and outs of chemo. It gets to you when those things happen," Mrs Woods said.
"I thought 'lets do it.' I told my husband [about shaving my head] and he said, 'if you want to'. He later decided to join me - we just wanted to raise the awareness, there was a time when no one wanted to talk about those things."
Shave for a Cure runs from March 17 to 24 and encourages people to go bald as a fundraiser for blood cancers.