Teenager’s tonsure for charity

Ethnic communities can take pride in the fact that an increasing number of our young men and women participate in projects and programmes that raise awareness on issues of importance and mobilise financial resources for worthy causes.

The Indian community can be equally proud of our children evincing interest in national projects such as Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBCNZ), dedicated to supporting patients and their families with blood cancers and related conditions.

Isha Amrute, Year 12 student at Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland, is one of them. When she learnt that every four hours a New Zealander is diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition and that everyday LBCNZ engages in 41 interactions with patients and health professionals, she decided to get involved. She would give up, at least for a while, her beautiful hair.

Along with her family, a number of her friends and well-wishers will be with her at 11 am on December 20, 2014 at Auckland Normal Intermediate School (Poronui Street, Mt Eden) when she will shave off her hair. She is simultaneously collecting funds for LBCNZ.

Her father Mahesh Amrute said that would donate her hair to Pantene to make wigs.

No surprise

The decision did not surprise her parents, for she has been a volunteer with her mother (a health professional) and father (a banker) at St John Ambulance since she was eight years old.

“Isha has been attending YMCA holiday programmes (one day every week), helping out at the Elizabeth Knox Rest Home and more recently as a St John Volunteer for the ASB Tennis Open. She participates in the ‘Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD)’ and Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) animal rights at School,” Mr Amrute said.

Isha described her decision to shed her hair as a ‘personal challenge.’

“I volunteered to do so to express my commitment and solidarity to all the cancer-affected youngsters who have to shave off their hair as a part of their treatment process. I am grateful to my family and friends for their support,” she said.

Websites: http://my.leukaemia.net.nz/IshaAmrute; http://www.shaveforacure.co.nz

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