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'Okay anyone, any thoughts? Just discovered how seriously thin and patchy it looks. I hate it. To shave or not to shave it? Any other suggestions?"
After months of immunotherapy had robbed her of her long tresses, Tauranga melanoma sufferer Sharon Sheedy sought this advice on Facebook.
Thirty-nine comments and five volunteers later, she had her answer.
Today, at 12.30pm, four fellow mums and one kindergarten teacher with waist-long hair will join Sharon at Bunnings Warehouse and go under the clippers, with the assistance of Tauranga MP Simon Bridges.
In a sisterhood of solidarity, Shani Gilmour, Vanessa Hennessey, Dolores Domenichini, Bec Ansley and Raewyn Stewart have decided to support their friend while also raising money and awareness of the deadly disease.
"I probably would have just put a scarf around my head," says Sharon, who is already wearing a white broderie anglaise headband to disguise her wispy hair, which she has come to hate.
"I think everyone is crazy for doing it when they don't have to. It's pretty amazing that they are."
In a matching white shift dress and denim leggings, with her youngest child, 14-month-old Harper, picking in the playground bark at her feet, she is the picture of motherhood.
Womanly, glowing and proud as punch of her spirited little man.
"He's a climber," she says, leaping up from the wooden-slatted bench to retrieve him from a ladder he is far too young to be scaling.
He grizzles, wriggles and is set free, heading straight back to the ladder, which he promptly starts climbing again.
In a way, it is a metaphor for the past year of Sharon's life.
With the same spirit and determination she has been climbing - and climbing.
In February last year, she shared her story with the Bay of Plenty Times, just seven weeks after the birth of Harper, who was delivered by C-section three weeks early so that she could have a cancerous lump removed from her neck.
At the time she was 33 - the same age as her father when melanoma claimed his life.
Having managed the illness successfully since being diagnosed at 22, it was a devastating blow.
She did not disclose her prognosis at the time but says, looking back, she feared she only had a matter of months to live.
Since then she has had further surgery to her neck and undergone seven months of immunotherapy, which was stopped in January after she discovered two more lumps.
"It's been a hard year but, having said that, I didn't think I'd be having a conversation now with you either," says Sharon who, despite her thinning hair, looks radiant.
But more importantly, during the past 12 months, Sharon has celebrated Harper's first birthday and daughter Lara's fifth - two milestones she thought she would not be here to see.
She has literally lived for her kids.
"That in itself has been a really cool gift. And other things ... I feel like I've lived a lot more fully.
"Enjoying the breeze on my face, enjoying things about life that I'd normally take for granted. It is the really small things.
"Being able to watch a nice sunset, stopping to take time to watch my kids sleep. The real simplicities in life."
And she is "amazed and overwhelmed" by the support she and husband Bryce have received from the community.
"I feel glad people haven't given up on me," she says.
Tomorrow's bold act of support is no exception.
Shani Gilmour, who shares the same school and kindy circuit with Sharon, and who has previously fund-raised for her, was the first to volunteer to sacrifice her locks.
"Knowing what Sharon has been through with chemo and is going through now, losing her hair, I thought this would be a great way to not only support her as a friend but also to support the Melanoma Foundation with the great work they do around raising awareness and research into prevention and cure," says Shani, who lost her grandmother to cancer when she was only days old.
Raewyn Stewart, a teacher at Shalom Kindergarten, which Lara attended until starting school this term, is parting with her trademark hair that she has kept long for 20 years.
Raewyn's twin brother, Gary, died of melanoma just shy of his 28th birthday.
"His started as a mole on the top of his foot, a mole that changed.
"He was a typical male, 'she'll be right'. When he finally got it checked it was already through his lymph system," says Raewyn.
"I have been thinking of doing this for years but I always chickened out and thought 'I don't want to do it by myself' ... I thought maybe this is the time.
"I am wanting to make a difference for somebody. Even if it only changes one person's life."
For Bec Ansley, whose daughter Milly is at school with Lara, it was a case of safety in numbers.
"I was mindful of Lara having attention drawn to her at school.
"Since our daughters are friends I thought if I shaved my head too then perhaps it wouldn't be such a big deal and would help to ease Sharon's concern."
But Lara is unfazed by it all.
"I asked her what she would think about Mummy shaving her head. She laughed and said I would look silly, then said she would do it too," says Sharon.
"Lara knows I'm not well but she doesn't know any more than that and, to be honest, none of us do. I don't know how it's going to turn out so we deal with the facts we have now.
"There's no guarantees in life and that's quite evident at the moment with Christchurch and Japan. Nothing's set in concrete."
Heather Hyland, chief executive officer of the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand, says the gesture by Sharon's friends is "the most lovely thing".
"A lot more needs to be done for people with melanoma," says Heather.
"It does not get the attention it deserves. Too many people think it's 'just' skin cancer. They don't realise how serious it is.
"People need to understand that melanoma is a very serious cancer when it metastasises and there is no cure in term of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and younger adults are affected."
Although there are some "exciting" experimental drugs being developed, a cure is not imminent.
"Some have had dramatic results but so far only for a short time and the effect doesn't last," says Heather.
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new cancer medication that researchers say is the first drug to prolong the lives of people with melanoma.
Yervoy was approved for late-stage or metastatic melanoma, however it has only worked in a small segment of patients studied who, on average, lived just four months longer than those who were given older medications.
"The big hope for the future is in combining some of the new treatments ... they have not yet found a solution but the developments are so dramatic we are hopeful of greatly improved treatments."
Ellen Orr, who started the Tauranga support group, Melanoma Friends, 18 months ago, agrees there is a lack of understanding of melanoma.
"People think melanoma is just something on your skin.
"They don't realise it can get into your organs and take your life.
"They don't realise how serious it is and that's hard because other forms of cancer seem to have more understanding. And it's just so preventable."
Ellen, who had a serious melanoma removed from her head two years ago and is now in remission, says support is extremely important.
"It's fantastic to have friends like that because you need friends and family around," she said of the five women going under the clippers with Sharon.
"It's pretty out there to get your head shaved, especially at this time of year."
Dermatologic surgeon Paul Salmon, of Tauranga's Skin Centre, the largest dermatology practice in New Zealand, says the Bay has double the rate of melanoma to that nationally.
"There are 80 cases per 100,000 people per year," says Paul.
"Sun-seeking people come to live in the Bay of Plenty, many at retirement age, bringing their sun-damaged skin with them. Also, it is a sunny area itself so local people get too much sun."
A cure is still "a long way off", he says.
"Prevention and early detection is still the best strategy."
To avoid melanoma people should wear long sleeves, trousers and a hat year-round, he advises.
A year ago, Sharon had hoped to get on to a drug trial programme at Melbourne's renowned Peter Mac Cancer Centre, but was not eligible because she did not fit the genetic criteria.
"I am a rare case," she says.
However, it has not been completely ruled out in the future.
"I live with an uncertain future but I still have hope. I still pray for my miracle."
To donate go to:
If you would like to join Tauranga Melanoma Friends, contact Ellen Orr on 027 4385291 or email