A brave Levin boy was keen to break school rules if it meant he could show support for his dad.

Brody Bell's father Jonathan has stage 4 lung cancer, so when a Fairfield School cancer fundraiser called on people to shave their hair, he knew what he had to do.

Although the school specified only senior pupils could shave their head, the 10-year-old was determined to take the chair too.

His mother Tania said he wasn't taking no for an answer.

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"He came home from school and said 'I'm going to shave my head. I'm doing it for Dad and other people who have what Dad has'," she said.

"He knows what Jonathan has been through and is going through ... we are really, really proud of him.

"We are grateful they allowed Brody to participate."

Jonathan, who was on hand to watch his son get clipped, couldn't have been more proud.

Brody Bell and his father Jonathan at the Fairfield School fundraiser.
Brody Bell and his father Jonathan at the Fairfield School fundraiser.

The 39-year-old father of three, ex-army electrician - who had never smoked – was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2018 and started rounds of radiation and chemotherapy.

Tania said they were advised there would be no more bouts of chemotherapy or radiation as high-level doses of either treatment had not worked.

"They can't give him any more. It's sad he had to go through all of that, but we needed to know if it would work or not," she said.

The only option left was to take drugs to keep him alive so he could have precious time with his family.

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 Bilko Veza's funky hair style.
Bilko Veza's funky hair style.

Tania said up until last December the family were paying as much as $6500 a month for a drug called Alecensa. This was one of three anti-cancer drugs that was now government funded, she said, which relieved the family of a huge financial burden.

A few years ago, the couple purchased local business Horowhenua Hire, in 2016, and the business was awarded a silver medal in the Hire Industry Association of New Zealand Excellence Awards in 2019.

Jonathan keeps busy with the day-to-day running of Horowhenua Hire, working both from home, and in the office.

Tania said that Jonathan watching Brody and his school show their support had given him a real boost.

Fairfield School pupil Maia Wilton came up with a real funky hairstyle to help raise money and awareness of cancer during the school's Funky Hair Day.
Fairfield School pupil Maia Wilton came up with a real funky hairstyle to help raise money and awareness of cancer during the school's Funky Hair Day.

The Shave for a Cure initiative started at the school last year when teacher Mindy Vesa and some senior students shaved their heads completely bald. She had lost both her parents to cancer in the last 10 years.

Vesa said the initiative helped to raise awareness among the pupils about cancer and all students were also encouraged to wear "funky" hair styles.

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"It creates an awareness among the children and builds empathy. We're always trying to build empathy with the children," she said.

"Sometimes you don't know what someone sitting next to you is going through."

Vesa said the students were being encouraged to be open with their feelings.

"Especially since the Covid-19 lockdown, we've been trying to talk about our feelings. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to be happy too," she said.

Fairfield School principal Alasdair Maclean.
Fairfield School principal Alasdair Maclean.

Fairfield School principal Alasdair Maclean was a good sport, shaving his head and his beard in support of the fundraiser at an assembly in front of school pupils.

Wanting to raise as much money as he could, Brody asked his family if they could share it on their Facebook pages to spread the message and help raise more money.

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Petra Davies' funky hair style.
Petra Davies' funky hair style.

Brody has raised just under $800, to contribute to the Fairfield School total of more than $1200.

 Emily Sue's funky hair style.
Emily Sue's funky hair style.