When Esme Hopkins' grandad Dave Magee died two years ago of cancer she wanted to mark his memory in a special way.

The eight year old also felt it was important to pay tribute to those fighting the disease, and wondered what she could do to help.

She had watched her mother Leanne shave her head for cancer in 2016 and that planted an idea which has just come to fruition.

Esme decided to grow her locks long to donate her hair to the Tauranga Cancer Society to make a wig.


She wanted to do something for those suffering hair loss while they were going through treatment.

"I cut my hair for Grandad because he died of cancer and I want to support people with cancer."

The Omanu School student says it felt good to have finally taken the plunge and she liked her shorter haircut.

In her spare time Esme liked doing art and crafts, and she had taken up drama.

Mum Leanne says she is proud of her daughter.

"I am a bit blown away because this was all her own idea. It was probably a flow-on effect from when I shaved my head but I am pretty proud of her."

Now the Hopkins would drop Esme's hair off to the Cancer Society and it would be passed on to a woman in Hamilton who made wigs.

"I think it's a good option for people and children to be aware of, although the hair has to be fairly long.

Today 60 New Zealanders will hear the words, "I am sorry - you have cancer".

If you or someone you care about has cancer, you want to help provide support, or reduce your own risk of cancer - the Cancer Society can help.

It knows how a cancer diagnosis can affect every aspect of your life and it is there to help you through.

The Cancer Society can help you get to your medical appointments, or provide accommodation if you live far away from hospital.

Its specialist nurses can support you through treatment and answer any questions-big or small.

Cancer Information Helpline 0800 226 237.