A Paraparaumu Beach business owner is merging her career talents and experience dealing with cancer to support Kapiti's busy Cancer Society of New Zealand division.
Sarah Ransfield, 24, owner of Paraparaumu Beach hair salon Renascence By The C, is among many people coming together for the Relay for Life Kapiti event, at Mazengarb Reserve, Paraparaumu, from 4pm on Saturday Feb 18 until 9am on Sunday Feb 19.
The Raumati South local, who is participating in the annual event for a third time, is using her beachside hair salon to promote and fundraise for the cause, and will run a hair-inspired pamper station from the overnight event.
With a fundraising target of $2000, money raised by team Renascence By The C will go directly back into the Kapiti community for people affected by cancer.
As well as a sausage sizzle at the Paraparaumu Beach markets, Sarah ran a kids' haircut day in preparation for starting back at school, as well as a women's wash and blow wave day.
"We are also running a couple of raffles with some great hair products that are currently at the salon, and plan to have hair braiding for a gold coin donation during the relay," the ex-Paraparaumu College student said.
"There'll also be the opportunity for any patients undergoing treatment to receive free hair consultations."
She said as a hairdresser, with clientele who were going through the harrowing experience or losing and regrowing their hair, she was in the position to support them, both men and women.
"I like that I can help them to feel good within themselves again."
This year, Sarah's team of 17 is comprised of staff and family and friends, including her sister and brother in law from Christchurch.
"Our team is made up of people who wished to participate because the cause is close to their hearts."
Sarah, who lost her Nana to breast cancer in 2004, also witnessed first-hand the consuming effects of cancer as the support person for her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, in 2009.
Luckily, Sarah's mother survived.
"She's a survivor but I saw how it affected her day-to-day living and the struggles she faced.
"I've seen what the Cancer Society of New Zealand does to support people with cancer and the support they gave my Mum, and now I want to support them where I can."
Sarah said her experience standing beside those fighting cancer had shown her that love and care had a significant impact on people going through the ordeal.
"Relay for Life is a very emotional and healing experience, where those affected by cancer can reflect on how far they've come and we can remember those we lost.
"It's a great community event where we can all come together and support one another."