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CANSA Shavathon: 20 Years of Solidarity with Cancer Survivors

Afrikaans Media Release

6 February 2023 – It’s that time of the year to shave, spray and donate at the Cancer Association of South Africa’s (CANSA) 20th annual Shavathon fundraising event taking place, at various shopping centres across South Africa, on Saturday 25 February 2023, with certain venues also hosting events on Sunday, 26 February 2023. Workplaces, businesses, clubs, organisations and schools can host events for an entire month from 27 February to 31 March 2023. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Shavathon is one of the highlights on the CANSA calendar bringing families, friends and colleagues together in solidarity with cancer survivors. Losing hair is a common side effect of cancer treatment so participants show support by donating a fee to shave or spray their hair.

#CANSAShavathon #CANSACares

Elize Joubert, CANSA CEO says “We’re truly overwhelmed to still be running our Shavathon after all these years, and more so for the ongoing enthusiasm of South Africans to support it. The wonderful support that we receive from the public, companies, clubs and schools who take part on behalf of a loved one on a journey with cancer, or one who has been lost to cancer, makes it possible to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this fundraising event this year. We’re once again inviting all and asking ‘What will you do for a cancer survivor ‘and join us in in showing support for a cancer survivor, patient, warrior or thriver. And, if you’ve been part of Shavathon over the years, please share your stories, moments, memories and photos with us and tell us why this event is so special. Stories can be submitted here:”

To shave or spray in a variety of colours, requires a donation fee of only R50 per adult and R25 for children under 12 years and all funds raised go directly towards providing CANSA’s education and screening initiatives as well as care and support service to cancer patients and loved ones. Stencils are available to add fun designs when spraying hair and donations of hair can be made towards making a wig for cancer survivors. The colour spray is safe to use, being made of vegetable dye, and comes out when washing hair. A limited-edition certificate of honour will be given to those who make hair donations of 25cm or longer and limited edition CANSA Headwear is available for R55 per item (while stock lasts).

In the last two decades, many celebrities and personalities have been part of Shavathon and given their time, talents and support: cancer survivor Mark Pilgrim, Lillian Dube, Mi Casa, Freshly Ground, The Parlotones, Marc Lottering, Danny K, Toya Delazy, Gert-Johan Coetzee, Natalie Du Toit and many more. The late Jeremy Mansfield has also graciously encouraged South Africans to support Shavathon. This year, friend of CANSA, Rozanne McKenzie, presenter, MC and co-host of Jacaranda FM’s ‘The Drive Show with Rob and Roz’, lends her well-known voice to the Shavathon hype while platinum-selling artist and popular musician Daniel Baron, pledges his support with the song ‘A Lions Heart’ written for his cousin who passed away from cancer at age 14 and inspired him to write the song about his love for life.

The first Shavathon took place at the ‘Crazy Zebra’ in Gqeberha in 2003. Hosted by a local biker group, the initiative was started to show support for a member affected by cancer, and this is still the main focus of the event today.

Over the years, Shavathon has grown to become one of the most-loved events in South Africa. It encompasses the true spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ by uniting South Africans from all walks of life to stand together in the fight against cancer and to honour those it affects. 

What will you do for a cancer survivor?

Apart from visiting Shavathon venues at shopping malls, anyone can also host a Shavathon event including workplaces, businesses, clubs, organisations and schools. CANSA will be offering the opportunity to host events for an entire month from 27 February to 31 March 2023. To host an event as an individual or workplace, please register and order Shavathon products through the CANSA eShop.

Joubert adds, “We challenge workplaces and organisations to take part in this special event and have fun with it! Why not see which department or branch can raise the most funds with their Shavathon or collect the most hair donations – teams can compete against each other to see who raises the most online by creating an online fundraising page per team on our Shavathon event page on GivenGain. Our top corporate team raising the most funds will win a prize. And if you are working from home, you can still join in by paying a ‘Bail Out Fee’ online.”

Online champions

CANSA also welcomes participants to open an online fundraising page before participating in a Shavathon event and to invite their contacts to support the action they will take on behalf of cancer Survivors on the day, whether they shave, or spray, by making an online donation to the participant’s fundraising page.

Participants can then share their online fundraising efforts on their social media platforms using the hashtag #CANSAShavathon in the weeks leading up to their participation and top fundraisers stand a chance to win awesome prizes. The online ‘Bail Out Fee’ is also applicable for anyone who wants to be involved but cannot make it to a venue on the day.

To find out all about Shavathon, see the Shavathon FAQ’s  and to find a venue, see the Participating Shopping Centres listed online (events will be added here weekly leading up to Shavathon). 

20 ways to make a difference

Although Shavathon is hosted once a year, CANSA’s services are on-going. Being a non-profit organisation, CANSA is reliant on the kindness and generosity of donors and sponsors to continue with its service delivery across South Africa. Here are ways in which you can join the fight against cancer through your Shavathon donation and more:

  1. Give your ponytail wings by donating R20, along with your hair donation, towards courier fees to send the hair donations to our wig maker.
  2. Donate a new, or pre-loved, wig to CANSA for patients in need.
  3. Donate towards the printing of CancerCare Coping Kits and CANSA At Home Pain Guide and the CANSA At Home Guide for Children with Pain.
  4. Donate towards the printing of educational materials (posters, pamphlets) to be used at oncology units.
  5. Donate groceries to CANSA Care Homes and CANSA TLC Facilities
  6. Donate CANSA Care Packs for patients.
  7. Donate fuel for CANSA Care Home
  8. Share posts from CANSA social media pages so that more people can see our important health-, advocacy- and care and support messages.
  9. Donate consumables used for screenings like speculums, disposable gloves, linen savers at CANSA Care Centres.
  10. Donate towards the purchase of consumables like needles, glucose test strips and finger pricks directly to CANSA Care Centres.
  11. Purchase a Compassionate Hat for a cancer patient.
  12. Purchase a voucher towards a patient’s mastectomy bra or prosthesis or sponsor Knitted Knockers for others to knit.
  13. Donate R10 000 towards a Mobile Clinic visit to rural areas to perform 50 Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), Lifestyle Risk Assessments and educational cancer awareness (including a driver, a nurse, and volunteers)
  14. Donate R10 000 towards a Mobile Clinic visit to rural areas to perform 50 Pap smears, Lifestyle Risk Assessments, and educational cancer awareness (including a driver, a nurse, and volunteers)
  15. Are you a copywriter or translator? Volunteer your time to copywrite and translate CANSA materials to other languages to extend our reach as CANSA.
  16. Donate R7500 towards 100 faecal occult blood (FOB) home test kits.
  17. Donate R3750 towards 50 faecal occult blood (FOB) home test kits.
  18. Raise funds on CANSA’s online fundraising platform.
  19. Sign up as a volunteer with CANSA.
  20. Conduct a recreational session with patients at CANSA Care Homesg., arts, crafts, painting, knitting.

(For more information, please contact Melissa Zaayman at CANSA by email / 084 989 6890 or Lucy Balona, or phone 0800 22 66 22.)

CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We offer a Tele Counselling service in seven languages free of charge. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 8 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

Queries CANSA

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 072 197 9305 English and Afrikaans (text only)
 071 867 3530 isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi (text only)
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