Dubbo oncology staff shaving, waxing, colouring for Leukaemia Foundation

A group of people that come face to face with cancer everyday are putting their bodies – and hair – on the line to help find a cure.

Dubbo Hospital’s oncology unit are taking part in this year’s World’s Greatest Shave for the Leukaemia Foundation, with staff shaving their heads and beards, waxing their legs or colouring their hair for the cause.

Oncology nursing unit manager Tim Williams said it was a no brainer – or a “no hairer” – for the staff to get on board.

“We actually see and treat people everyday with blood cancers and that’s what the Leukaemia Foundation is all about,” he said.

“It’s about raising awareness of the plight of people with blood cancer, contributing to research to find a cure but also supporting those who have to deal with the affects of cancer daily.”

Among the staff taking part are medical oncologists Dr Florian Honeyball and Dr Rajat Rai, haematology staff specialist Susan Moreton, practice manager Jodie Spittles and nurse Gemma Pengilly, all of whom will have their heads shaved.

Mr Williams and Matthew Bruce will be shaving their beards and getting their legs waxed, while pharmacist Ashleigh Boatman and other nursing and administration staff will have their hair dyed.

... patients were very grateful that someone would show that support ...

Tim Williams

That includes the hospital’s deputy director of nursing, Tracy Wittich, who will colour her hair by popular vote; people are being encouraged to cast their vote for a gold coin donation.

It’s not the first time Mr Williams has taken part in the World’s Greatest Shave, and he said it was a great way for hospital staff to show solidarity with the patients they work with everyday.

“Speaking from previous experience … patients were very grateful that someone would show that support and it shows an empathy from our part that we can match them for a short while,” he said.

“It’s not really, not that we can feel what they’re going through, but we can empathise with what they’re going through.”

The oncology unit’s World’s Greatest Shave will take place on Monday, March 26 from 12pm. The event will include a sausage sizzle as well as an auction and raffle, with staff looking for donations of prizes.

Donations can be made in person at the oncology unit, or online by searching for the team Ashleigh’s Angel on the World’s Greatest Shave website.