How one crusade is life-shaving
EVERY single day, lives are changed forever, when 41 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer.
Sue-Ellen Pitt has been working as the Leukaemia Foundation's community supporters coordinator for the last eight years.
Ms Pitt said one person will be diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other related blood disorders every 36 minutes.
"Blood cancers are among the most frequently diagnosed cancers in Australia with the latest statistics confirming that over the past decade, the incidence of blood cancer has grown by around 30 per cent," she said.
"These are extraordinary numbers and we are now in a time where everyone will know someone who has been diagnosed with a blood cancer."
The community supporters coordinator said the generosity of the Bundaberg community was extraordinary, after $87,220 was raised and more than 150 people took part in the World's Greatest Shave last year.
"We are hoping that the same number of people will take a bald step and shave, cut or colour their hair to support families living with blood cancer," she said.
"This year, we are aiming to reach $90,000 which would be an incredible achievement."
Funds raised through the World's Greatest Shave provides people affected by blood cancer with emotional, educational, financial and practical support, free of charge.
"If someone in Bundaberg receives the devastating news that they have blood cancer, they may need to relocate to Brisbane within 48 hours to receive their vital treatment," Ms Pitt said.
"The Leukaemia Foundation can provide a home-away-from-home for the patient and their family to stay at while they are receiving treatment (which) allows the patient to focus on getting better while not having the extra financial burden of accommodation costs."
Ms Pitt said she knows of families that drove to Brisbane for their child's treatment and had to sleep in their car.
"This doesn't happen anymore, as we can supply accommodation free of charge to our families, thanks to our various supporters who raise funds for us," she said.
To sign up or support someone in the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave, visit worldsgreatestshave.com.au or call 1800 500 088.