World's Greatest Shave hits Parliament House, Canberra
Walking the halls of Parliament House reminds many a parliamentary staffer how fortunate they are. If that doesn’t spark gratitude alone, then a visit to the Leukaemia Foundation’s John James Village in Canberra certainly will.
Matt Kelly – a media adviser for Health Minister Greg Hunt – recently visited the John James Village to gain a better understanding of why initiatives like the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave are so important. And why a head shave is a small but significant gesture that reminds blood cancer patients, ‘we support you.’
Kelly then shaved his head on Wednesday 4 March at Parliament House, Canberra, to raise money for the World’s Greatest Shave and to raise awareness for the campaign, which begins the following week.
Officially kicking into gear across the country between March 11-15, the World’s Greatest Shave aims to raise $16.5 million to provide vital support for the growing number of Australians diagnosed with blood cancer including leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other related blood disorders.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said a chat with Kelly late in 2019 set the personal project in motion.
“I asked Matty what he wanted to achieve in 2020, and his response was, ‘to give something back to those less fortunate.’
“I think it’s a testimony to his upbringing – being the son of a nurse no less – that his immediate thought turned to helping others.
“We know the impact that a blood cancer diagnosis has on peoples’ lives. That is why this Government is supporting the Leukaemia Foundation to deliver Australia’s first National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer later this year.”
Currently, 41 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer every day. The Leukaemia Foundation’s latest Blood Cancer in Australia report confirms that by 2035, this number will more than double to 100 people every day.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO, Bill Petch said money raised through the World’s Greatest Shave is critical to help Australians with blood cancer across the country access the support they need, no matter where they live.
“By signing up and raising money for the World's Greatest Shave, you are ensuring families facing blood cancer have someone to turn to every step of the way, access to the best possible care and treatment and a place to call home during treatment,” Mr Petch said.