Shaving one's hair has become a global gesture of support for people suffering from cancer. On 1 March, the UCT community rallied to use this symbol to aid cancer research, promote public education about the disease and provide support for cancer patients.
For the past two years the Prince Cancer Research Laboratory, under the umbrella of the Faculty of Health Sciences, has been organising the CANSA Shavathon in association with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).
At the 2013 Shavathon, students and staff could have their hair shaved or sprayed with a rainbow of colours in exchange for a monetary donation.
"The Shavathon is an event which pays tribute to all those involved in the fight against cancer, and helps in supporting cancer survivors," explained Shannagh Hare, a master's student working in the Prince Cancer Research Laboratory.
A total of R7,230 was raised and donated to CANSA, but Hare says that money was not the only thing gained.
"Quite a few women also donated their hair for wigs, if it was long enough, and many people shaved their hair in memory of someone they knew who had passed away from cancer."
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