Dr James Chancellor will lose his "strawberry-blonde" locks and his Mount surf cred next week when his head is shaved to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

It is a cause close to the 25-year-old's heart – his grandfather, who was also a doctor and who he never got the chance to meet, died from leukaemia.

Dr Chancellor is a junior doctor at Tauranga Hospital and wanted to honour his late grandfather by raising money for a charity that supports people with cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma.

"I think it's really important for the community to think outside their own health and realise that some people are in unfortunate situations and have diseases that really impact their lives and the lives of their families."

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He has already reached his $1000 target and so will go bald on March 22 at a Shave for a Cure event at Tauranga Hospital.

Dr Chancellor is now aiming for $2000 and if he reaches that target, will have his hairy legs waxed as well.

Through his work as a doctor, he knows how devastating leukaemia and blood cancer can be.

Tauranga Hospital's Dr James Chancellor is having his ginger locks shaved off to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand, a cause close to his heart. Photo / George Novak
Tauranga Hospital's Dr James Chancellor is having his ginger locks shaved off to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand, a cause close to his heart. Photo / George Novak

Dr Chancellor recalls a tragic story he was involved with when he was a medical student at Waikato Hospital.

"A young girl who had just got married to the love of her life was diagnosed with a rare case of leukaemia which was not responding to treatments and she was on death's door.

"Unfortunately she didn't survive but the Leukaemia & Blood Cancer Foundation did wonders for her in supporting her and her new husband through that. Although it was tragic it made the road a bit easier."

Dr Chancellor said one of the main reasons he is taking part in the annual Shave for a Cure week next week is to help those kinds of cases and the families affected.

However, losing his beloved orange mane might leave him feeling a bit naked on the beach.

Through his work as a doctor, Dr James Chancellor knows how devastating leukaemia and blood cancer can be. Photo / George Novak
Through his work as a doctor, Dr James Chancellor knows how devastating leukaemia and blood cancer can be. Photo / George Novak

Dr Chancellor lives in Mount Maunganui and said people sometimes see him as a bit of a surfer, where in reality he is more of a novice.

"With long hair, it adds to that sort of look and without it, I guess I won't be out in the sun as much. I'll have to sunblock up."

But that is a small price to pay considering what the people he is supporting are going through, he said.

"As healthy individuals, we can support them through their struggles and if it's simply by donating money that's fantastic, or if you want to shave your head, it raises awareness and the more funds that can be raised for charities like this the more improvements in medical therapies and also support is available."

You can donate by visiting: http://bit.ly/2IkgQVG.


Key facts about blood cancers
• Every day, six New Zealanders are diagnosed with a blood cancer (about 2200 a year)
• The cause of blood cancers is unknown
• The diseases can strike anyone, of any age, at any time, without warning
• Immediate treatment may be necessary and that treatment can go on for months or even years
Source: Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand