16 February 2011

Get ready for the 2011 Shavathon

Get ready for Cansa's eighth Shavathon, an opportunity to show solidarity with cancer survivors by shaving your head or spray-painting your hair.


2011 is the year in which the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) turns 80 years old and also marks Cansa's eighth Shavathon event taking place 3 – 5 March 2011. Last year’s Shavathon was a resounding success thanks to the thousands of South Africans who showed solidarity with cancer survivors at their schools, work places and shopping venues countrywide.

“We hope that Shavathon 2011 will help to unite the nation in the fight against cancer and help raise funds so that we can continue supporting cancer survivors and those affected by cancer” says Cansa's CEO and cancer survivor of 26 years, Sue Janse van Rensburg.

In response to the overwhelming support in 2010, Shavathon 2011 will have an extra corporate Shavathon day on Thursday the 3rd of March, followed by Friday the 4th. The public can participate on Saturday the 5th at their nearest shopping mall.

Shavathon is a very public demonstration of South Africa’s solidarity with cancer survivors," says Janse van Rensburg. "By shaving or colour-spraying for the event, we show support and celebrate life with cancer survivors and we remember our loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer."

Losing one’s hair is a common side-effect of chemotherapy - so that is why shaving your head has become a symbolic gesture of support for cancer survivors. Colouring your hair has become an option for those who prefer not to shave. 

South Africans from all over the country, family and friends, workplace staff, visitors, clients and suppliers can shave or spray in a multitude of colours and show solidarity with a cancer survivor from 3 – 5 March for a R50 donation, children under 12 pay R25. Pledges can also be collected from family and friends to help raise funds for Cansa’s wide-reaching service including prevention and education programmes, patient care and support in the form of 12 Interim Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients, support centres that offer stoma and lymphoedema clinics, medical equipment hire, toll-free line and support to children and their families affected by cancer. 

Thursday and Friday, (3 & 4 March) are devoted to in-house events, while the Saturday 5 March is used to stage public events at shopping centres in all nine provinces.

For those who would like to be a part of the fight against cancer but cannot attend a shave or spray event on one of these days, a minimum online donation of R50 may be made by visiting the Cansa website and clicking on the bail-out fee under Shavathon.  Cansa’s unique and integrated service is made possible through donations and you taking part in your nearest Cansa Shavathon event in your community.

Please go to to register your workplace event and order your consumables by 23 February 2011 and see Cansa Shavathon Facebook for updates. You can also support Cansa Shavathon on Saturday, 5 March 2011 at a shopping centre near you. For more information, please contact Margie Laubscher at 011 616 7662 or email Help us fight cancer the Shavathon way!

Cansa press release

- (Health24, February 2011)

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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst and Head of Advocacy Magdalene Seguin. For more information, visit

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