Wanaka Sun       

Wanashave for charity?

Posted at 5:55am Thursday 01 Nov, 2018 | By Emma Conyngham newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Shave for a Cure is Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand's signature fundraising event. Every year thousands of people whip out the clippers and shave their locks in a bid to help the six Kiwis diagnosed with a blood cancer or related condition each day.

But shaving all your hair off, particularly when you're a woman who has invested a lot of time, money and self-esteem into maintaining her locks is a big call. Going bald to raise money also raises some serious body image issues.

For Sarah Blechert (24), who has wrestled with body image and notions of femininity for many years, shaving her head is drawing a line in the sand on identity.

“In the beginning I tried to tell myself that it's just hair. But I guess it's not that simple. It has been part of my identity for a long time. I have always had long blonde hair so it'll be interesting to see if anything changes in the way people I meet for the first time behave towards me.”

Sarah studied social work at Alice-Salomon-University in Berlin. She came to Wanaka in February 2017 to do a six-month internship at Kahu Youth.

“I have never lived in a community where people are that trusting, helpful and trying to look after each other,” Blechert said.

Having experienced such community spirit in Wanaka, Blechert wants to give back. “I want to be a part of this community and society and contribute as much as I can. I can't make blood cancer disappear, but I can try to raise as much money as possible to provide vital services that help to support cancer patients and their families.”

Blechert (pictured) is inviting Wanaka locals to shave their heads and join the cause. Shave for a Cure Wanaka is happening at Kahu Youth, 3pm on Saturday, November 10.






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