Supportive care nurses Jacinda Mayo and Penny Parsons have seen first-hand the extra stress Covid-19 has placed on cancer patients.
The Cancer Society has continued to operate throughout level 3 and 4 to offer information and support for people with cancer during this difficult time. However, with restrictions around public gatherings, the Cancer Society has had to cancel important fundraising events, which has been a blow for the community-funded charity.
That’s why both nurses have decided to ‘Brave the Shave’ - a fundraising activity people can get involved in from the safety of their ‘bubble’, and the timing couldn’t be better with hair salons still in lockdown!
The pair has set an ambitious fundraising goal of $5000 and is already well on the way to hitting that target.
Jacinda offers support to people living with cancer, and their families, in the Taupo/Turangi and Taumarunui regions. During level 3 and 4 she’s also been making the journey to provide staffing support at the Cancer Society’s Lions Lodge in Hamilton – a facility offering free accommodation to people who need to travel to Waikato Hospital for cancer treatment.
The motivation for her involvement is simple: the clients she meets every day.
"As nurses, on a daily basis we are in awe of the bravery and courage that our clients, their families and those around them show,” says Jacinda.
“Right from the moment a client receives what may be a life-changing or life-limiting diagnosis, they and their significant others show us how brave and courageous they are.
“Somehow, and from somewhere, they find the courage to take the next step in their journey to tackle whatever is thrown at them next."
Penny agrees. She supports people in Coromandel, Hauraki and Piako and says her "wonderful clients" give her all the motivation she needs.
"They go through so much. This is something small that we can do in support of them."
Penny and Jacinda say they’ve been thinking of raising funds with a head shave for a little while but think now's the right time to find their "little bit of brave".
"Our job is a privilege. To be allowed into someone's life and to support them through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows is something we do not take for granted,” says Jacinda.
“It is an honour to walk this journey with them."
Follow Penny and Jacinda's progress and donate at https://bravetheshave-waikato.everydayhero.com/nz/losing-our-crowning-glories