Seychelles braves the shave for cancer | 07 October 2019
Men and women alike came out in numbers in front of the Seychelles Post Office on Saturday to brave the shave and show their support to the Seychelles Cancer Concern Association.
Brave the Shave has been an initiative of Sylvie Ah-Time, a radio host on K-Radio, with the support of the Ladies Circle, to help the Cancer Concern Association raise funds for its centre d’accueil project.
More than 10 women, including Sylvie, braved the shave and cut off their hair as a gesture of support for women, men and children who are and were cancer patients, and who has had to deal with hair loss as a result of their treatments.
Men also joined the fray by either having their hair shaved or their beards.
The fundraising campaign also included hair dyes and braids which were being done by the ladies at Kellie’s Hair Salon, sales of t-shirts, caps and bracelets, sales of a book written by Dr Salma Farook and donations given out by passers-by and organisations.
The start of the event was attended by Vice-President Vincent Meriton and Minister of Health Jean-Paul Adam, who also braved the shave.
“Today is about solidarity. Cancer is something which is affecting more and more people in Seychelles and, the first thing we must do as Seychellois is to show support for cancer victims. We are a small society, we all know somebody that has suffered or lost their lives to cancer,” Minister Adam noted.
“Secondly, it’s about living a healthy lifestyle which can reduce the risk of cancer. Sometimes cancer happens nonetheless due to genetic factors but there are lots of things we can do in terms of lifestyle that can reduce those risks,” he said.
“We work in close collaboration with the Cancer Concern Association. It [the centre d’accueil] will provide support for those who have been through cancer and who are going through it because the treatment of cancer is quite simple but what is difficult about being diagnosed is the psychological aspect whereby you need the support of everyone,” Minister Adam concluded.
Elke Talma was the first woman to shave off her hair and was ecstatic to do so.
“It feels nice,” she remarked.
Quick to follow was Stephanie Wong, who had made the decision to shave her hair on the spot.
“I had not planned to shave my hair, I just decided right now. I did it because I had a family member who passed away from breast cancer and I wanted to show my support for everyone who is living with cancer.”
Michelle Harter, a cancer survivor, also opted to shave it all off and said that she was pleased to do it for a good cause, adding that Cancer Concern Association is a very important organisation since it was very supportive through her journey and that of others.
Among the last to brave the shave was a very emotional Sylvie who dedicated the shave to her father who had been diagnosed with cancer over five years ago.
“Brave the shave is an initiative I had wanted to do since five years ago when my dad was diagnosed with cancer but had not been able to do so. Now that my mum lost a friend to cancer and I have a friend living with it, I wanted to turn it into a reality,” she noted.
“I also wanted to show the men and women living with cancer, particularly women, that we can do it; we can brave the shave, we can survive cancer. Yes, the society has dictated that our hair defines us but you know what? Today shows that it does not. We are more than our hair, we are greater than that.”
The event saw the support of various organisations and institutions including the National Assembly’s Women’s Parliamentary Caucus.
The Cancer Concern Association also received a donation of R13, 525 from Vision Care and R3500 from Sey Frais.
It further received around R2000 from the Mont Fleuri secondary school which had raised funds in order to pay so that Sylvie could MC for their school on Teacher’s Day.
However Sylvie declined the money and instead requested that they give it to the Cancer Concern Asociation.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the ‘brave the shave’ event.