Tragic loss prompts Aliza to lose her locks for charity

18 Mar
Aliza Bettiens shaves her head for charity. Picture: Chyna Hayden

Aliza Bettiens shaves her head for charity. Picture: Chyna Hayden

By Chyna Hayden, Bond University Journalism Student

Aliza Bettiens lost her grandmother to blood cancer last year. The tragedy prompted the 19-year-old Benowa resident to last week lose her hair for The Leukaemia Foundation’s 2015 World’s Greatest Shave.

“I took it as an opportunity to raise awareness about how serious this disease is,” she said. 

Aliza was one of more than 150,000 people Australia-wide who shaved or coloured their hair to raise funds for, and awareness of, the disease.

With more than 12,000 Australians predicted to be diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2015, all proceeds will go towards researching a cure for Australia’s third most common cause of cancer death.

“I have had a few people sponsor me including family and friends, but I’m hoping to raise more before the cut off date of April 10,” said Aliza.

This year is the event’s 18th anniversary.

So far, Queensland has raised $2,648,095, just over 50% of the $5m goal.

Events like World’s Greatest Shave have had a profound impact upon the lives of cancer sufferers, said an 18-year-old who survived the disease but wished to remain anonymous.

“Not many people know that I had this disease as a child, nor do I want them to,” she said.

“It’s not that I’m embarrassed, it’s just I don’t want the disease to define me. It was so long ago and I was so lucky to beat it. Without my family and the support of programs like World’s Greatest Shave, I wouldn’t be here today.

“My message to those thinking about participating in World’s Greatest Shave would be to just do it. It’s only hair, it will grow back over time.” 

For more information on World’s Greatest Shave or to make a donation, visit: www.worldsgreatestshave.com

To donate to Aliza, visit her Facebook page.

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