The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), which is this year celebrating its 10th year of hosting CANSA Shavathon events, is also encouraging volunteers to join its online campaign. 
The CANSA Shavathon encourages everyone to take part from 25 February to 2 March 2013 at their workplace or at a shopping centre by shaving, spraying, stencilling or – new for 2013 – gelling hair, for a R50 donation (R25 for kids under 12).
The first Shavathon was held in the Eastern Cape in 2003 as a way to show solidarity and support for those touched by cancer, as losing hair is a common side effect of cancer therapy.
Participants show support by donating a fee to shave or colour-spray hair, with some using fun stencil shapes of a star, butterfly, flower, soccer ball, lightning bolt and the word “warrior”. The donation is used by CANSA to provide a service to the public and all people affected by cancer.
CANSA started the countdown to the 10th Shavathon by hosting a mini-Shavathon recently. Special guests included 13-year old student Matthew Moffet, a highly functioning autistic, who had been growing his hair for a year in order to shave it and show his support for cancer survivors. His head was shaved by CANSA CEO and cancer survivor, Sue Janse van Rensburg.
Also showing support was Sizwe Lawrence Ndlovu, 2012 Olympic Rowing Gold medallist, whose mother passed away from cancer.
“I’m taking part in the Shavathon to honour my mother, who was a pillar of strength to me. I want to ensure that others, especially other mothers, become aware of cancer and assist and show their support,” he says.
“It’s our 10th Shavathon, and we are challenging all South Africans to show their support in the fight against cancer, and for cancer survivors. We are excited to introduce for the first time colour gel for those wanting a funky hair-do,” says Janse van Rensburg.
CANSA offers an online platform for volunteers and corporate South Africa to take part as online “champions”, by raising funds and standing the chance to win prizes.