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The greatest challenge the World’s Greatest Shave has ever faced

Urgent support needed for the rising number of Australians living with blood cancer.

Today, the Leukaemia Foundation is paying tribute to the dedication of thousands of Australians who have committed to bravely stand in solidarity with those impacted by blood cancer, by shaving, cutting or colouring their hair for this year’s World’s Greatest Shave.

Amidst this commemoration, the Leukaemia Foundation is also issuing an urgent and heartfelt appeal to the nation for crucial support at a time when sadly the incidence of blood cancer in Australia continues to rise.

With the World’s Greatest Shave already in full swing, Leukaemia Foundation CEO, Chris Tanti, said the organisation is unfortunately seeing a significant decrease in donations compared to previous years, and is urging the Australian community to do one simple action this March – support this great campaign by either participating or donating.  

“The World’s Greatest Shave is the single biggest source of funds that the Leukaemia Foundation receives annually, ensuring that all Australians who hear the words “you have blood cancer” receive the support and care they need, through what is arguably the toughest time of their lives,” said Mr Tanti.

“In the past decade alone, blood cancer incidence has soared by 47% in this country, with 53 Australians now diagnosed with the disease every day. A further 16 people will lose their lives to blood cancer today– and that’s far too many.

“Greater support for these Australians is desperately needed, and we’re seeing this firsthand with a significant 36% increase in patients reaching out for financial assistance in the past year,” he added.

The Leukaemia Foundation has also found that demand for its other services has steadily increased as the incidence of blood cancer continues to grow.

“More and more Australians affected by blood cancer are seeking our range of services and support, to help them through their diagnosis. But to continue delivering this support, and meet increasing demand, the simple fact is that more funds are critically needed.”

The Leukaemia Foundation receives no ongoing government funding and heavily relies on the generosity of the Australian community so that it can continue to show up for Australians living with blood cancer.

In addition to providing support and services for blood cancer patients and their loved ones, funds raised through the World’s Greatest Shave go towards funding life-changing blood cancer research with the hope of one day finding a cure.

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“Since 2000, the Leukaemia Foundation has funded over 360 blood cancer research grants, representing over $86.5 million in blood cancer research funding in today’s current dollar value.

“This funding, made possible by campaigns like World’s Greatest Shave, is helping to make significant strides into finding better and more targeted treatment options for Australians living with blood cancer and to hopefully reach our goal of zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035.”

The Leukaemia Foundation is extremely thankful for the generous and big-hearted Australians who have already signed up to participate in this year’s World’s Greatest Shave, but are appealing for more people to register, or donate, in the coming weeks.

“We urge the Australian community to help us, and to sign up to the World’s Greatest Shave to shave, cut, or colour their hair, and fundraise this March,” said Mr Tanti.

“If they’d prefer not to take part, then it’s just as easy to donate to someone who is, or alternatively make a donation via the World’s Greatest Shave website or by calling the Leukaemia Foundation directly.”

Every strand of hair that people change for this year’s World’s Greatest Shave, and every single donation, will help support Australians facing blood cancer, at a time when they need it most.

“We know that the World’s Greatest Shave alone is not going to solve the critical issue of blood cancer in Australia, but it’s certainly going to make a significant difference to the support we can provide patients, and their loved ones, right now.”

To register to participate in the World’s Greatest Shave this March, or donate to someone who is, go to or call 1800 500 088.  

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