Choices for change

We all cherish the freedom to choose, yet for cancer patients, this freedom is unjustly stripped away.

In the realm of selfless acts for a cause, Simone Kylstra undoubtedly takes a significant spot. She is not just gearing up to chop off her long brown locks but is also committed to having her head shaved in March in support of The World’s Greatest Shave.

Simone has made the bold decision to shave off her long hair, aligning herself with the commendable work of the Leukaemia Foundation. Currently, there are 140,000 families grappling with blood cancer in Australia. Shockingly, this disease claims the lives of 16 Australians every day, with projections indicating a potential doubling of these numbers by 2035. The World’s Greatest Shave is dedicated to providing support for those battling this formidable disease, and the funds raised play a pivotal role in making a meaningful impact on their lives.

“I’ve had long hair for the majority of my life, so you could say it’s become a part of my identity. However, sometimes, the call to make a difference outweighs personal attachments,” shared Simone. “I’ve considered participating in The World’s Greatest Shave for several years, but I always found an excuse. This year, I decided the excuses stop. I’m blessed to have the choice to lose my hair, but for cancer patients, that choice is stolen from them. I’ve been a regular blood donor but have never done anything this significant before.”

Simone will be shedding her locks in front of the Wollongong Ericom team, with our People and Culture Manager, Jarreau Broadhurst, making the first and biggest cut – chopping off Simone’s ponytail. This ponytail will be donated to create a wig for patients undergoing chemotherapy, with 20 ponytails needed for just one wig. The highest donating staff member will earn the honour of handling the clippers and will be responsible for meticulously collecting all clippings. These clippings will be bagged up for Sustainable Salons, who will repurpose them into Hair Booms, aiding in the cleanup of oil spills on land and at sea, processed for compost to create supercharged soil, and used in lieu of heavy metals in technology like OLED displays.

When asked about her anticipation for the first hair washing experience post-shave, Simone couldn’t help but release a girlish giggle. “It will be weird, so weird not having anything to wash – I’ll definitely use a lot less shampoo and conditioner, that’s for sure.”

Here’s where you come in! Every donation, whether big or small, brings Simone one step closer to finding a cure and supporting those who need it most. We invite you to help us transform her hair-cutting moment into a celebration of compassion and humanity!

To donate, visit Simone’s official fundraising page:

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