Melanie clips her plait to raise funds

“There are brilliant minds at work in medical science and surely with continued funding they can solve the cancer problem more rapidly.”

It’s been over 20 years since I started working as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) professional. I enjoy helping people work together and realise their leadership and personal potential.

Like so many others, I have friends and family living with cancer. Some are going through treatment and others are in remission. My dad is being treated using a technique developed through research which encourages and motivates me to help out.

When choosing a cancer charity, I looked for one that covered research into multiple types of cancer, and has a good history and governance/system on funds allocation. ACRF ticked those boxes and more. New knowledge that is discovered through cancer research, communicated, and then applied will move us towards ending cancer and alleviating suffering.

I first heard about haircuts to fundraise from my Toastmaster mentor and friend. Since then I have donated my hair three times. To encourage supporters, I set different haircut lengths based on target values reached.

– $1,000, cut to shoulder blades
– $3,000, cut to shoulders
– $6,000, cut to chin

The support of everyone, including from my two Toastmaster clubs, was overwhelming. Donations were generous and it was gratifying to receive the stories of hope shared by supporters who have recovered from cancer.

I would encourage others to raise money for cancer research. It’s a great cause that will help a lot of people. We are fortunate to have our health and we can help change the fate of family and friends who don’t by sharing our resources. Disease does not discriminate; it touches each of us.