Miners urged to back leukaemia research

THE Australian mining industry has been challenged to support one of Australia's largest fundraising campaigns, the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave to Care and Cure, in March.

Staff Reporter

Up to 60,000 people are expected to shave or colour their hair between March 10 and 12 to raise funds to help children and adults living with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood and bone marrow cancers.


The Leukaemia Foundation says the funds raised will assist with the accommodation and transport of patients for treatment, medical research, education and counselling.


The campaign has targeted companies in the mining, oil & gas, construction and transport industries to take part in the World's Greatest Shave.


The foundation has a particular focus on supporting people from regional communities. In Western Australia, it cares for children and adults from 117 different cities and towns.


Chief executive officer Kris Laurie said the people working in mining, drilling and exploration were particularly generous supporters in ensuring the provision of services for patients in regional areas.*


"When someone from a regional area is diagnosed with an acute form of leukaemia, they often have less than 24 hours to pack up their bags, hop on a plane and move to Perth to receive vital medical treatment- leaving their work, friends and family behind," Laurie said.


"That is why the support of regional businesses is so important -- the people we support are from your towns and regions."


Drilling companies such as Grimwood Davies, Ausdrill and Challenge Drilling have raised significant amounts of money through the World's Greatest Shave, payroll deductions and other events.


Tim Goyder, managing director of WA-based Grimwood Davies, raised over $30,000 in Kalgoorlie in one night by sacrificing his hair for the cause.


"As someone who has won the fight against leukaemia, I know first hand how quickly your life gets turned upside down," Goyder said. "It is an extremely long and difficult journey and it highlighted for me just how essential the services provided by the Leukaemia Foundation are."


Worksite Fitness and Rehabilitation, which provides corporate health and injury management services to a wide range of clients, particularly within the resources sector, was the top corporate fundraiser in the World's Greatest Shave for a Cure last year and is backing up again.


The company encourages client mine sites and drilling companies to participate in the shave and contribute to the fundraising total.


The Leukaemia Foundation's Kris Laurie said the Greatest Shave campaign was more than just a fundraiser. Many companies saw it as a team-building way of having fun and boosting staff morale as well as helping local people with life-threatening illnesses.


"Not only are they generous, they are also huge fun to work with, especially if you challenge a drilling company to raise more funds than its competitors."


*To register for the World's Greatest Shave to Care and Cure, call 1800 500 088 or visit the website at www.worldsgreatestshave.com