FRANCOIS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN
The CANSA Shavathon was held from 11 to 17 April on the various Tuks campuses. Students had the option of shaving their heads, colouring their hair or simply making a donation. Shaving the head is a symbolic gesture in support of cancer survivors and those who lost the battle against cancer. One of the organisers of the Tuks Shavathon on the Groenkloof campus, Elraana Venter said, “We are expecting between 500 and 1000 students to participate in the event on each campus,” and added, “we are expecting to raise about R35 000, but we are aiming for R70 000.” The funds raised by the Shavathon are used for cancer research and health programmes that include prevention and education campaigns, care centres and clinics. CANSA has invested R5 million in cancer research in the past year and has supported 14 000 cancer patients. The World Health Organization estimated that 7.6 million people died from cancer in 2008 and it is expected that the number of deaths will rise to over 13.1 million in 2030. According to the South African National Cancer Registry, approximately 100 000 people are diagnosed with cancer in South Africa each year and one in four South Africans will be affected by cancer in their lifetime. The approximate survival rate in South Africa is 40% and it is estimated that 60 000 people lose their battle with cancer each year in South Africa. Students who missed out on the event can still make a donation by visiting CANSA’s website at www.shavathon.org.za.
Photos: Eleanor Harding & Gideom van Tonder