Youngster prepares for ‘hair loss’

At an age when she should be flaunting her long hair, a young Aucklander has decided to go bald for a while in aid of the Epsom based Leukemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Melodie Joseph will join thousands of men and women in the country participating in the annual ‘Shave for a Cure’ campaign, which raised $1.4 million last year.

While the campaign runs from March 4 to 10, she has chosen to sacrifice her hair on her 21st birthday in May.

She described it as ‘a small sacrifice,’ hoping that it would make a difference for those affected by the deadly diseases.

“My hair has always been extremely long, undergoing only five haircuts over the past 20 years. I would be grateful for any support, which will help me raise funds for families who deal with cancer. Together, we can find a cure and one day dwell in a cancer free world,” she said.

Her first awareness of cancer and the horrifying effect it has on people occurred more than ten years ago when she watched a television advertisement, showing a little girl wearing a smile and several long-beaded necklaces.

“Each bead represented the courage she needed to undergo an operation to remove cancer cells in her body. Despite being completely bald at that age, she appeared full of hope and determination to conquer cancer,” she said.

Melodie decided to remove her long hair, make wigs for use by women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and raise funds for the Foundation.

She is seeking sponsors, who can obtain further information at

A statement on the Foundation’s website said that ‘Shave for a Cure’ is a major fundraising event.

“Hundreds of New Zealand individuals, businesses and schools have whipped out the clippers, chopped off their locks and organised events across the country over the years. Money raised helps the Foundation to fund services to support patients and their families living with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition,” the statement said.

A student of the University of Auckland pursuing graduate degrees in Arts and Fine Arts (Honours), Melodie hopes to launch her career as a portraiture artist and fashion designer.

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