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The brave boy behind the television ad

The brave boy behind the television ad


Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s emotive Shave for a Cure television commercial tells the story of a father shaving his head, in the hope that his young son will recover from a blood cancer or related condition.

What many people don’t know is that the young boy in the advertisement, Kole Satherley, was undergoing treatment for a life-threatening blood disorder at the time of filming the ad and has since made a good recovery.

Kole was five-years-old when he was diagnosed with the rare blood disease aplastic anaemia. He and his family spent a year commuting between their home in Palmerston North and Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland for medical tests and treatment including several lumbar punctures and blood transfusions.

“Unlike many blood cancer patients receiving medication, Kole didn’t lose his hair during treatment,” said his mum, Cara Satherley. “However when Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC) approached us to see if we’d like to be involved with the campaign he jumped at the chance to be on the tele’.”

“At the end of the day it was Kole’s decision to participate in the filming of the advertisement,” said Cara. “The main reason we did it was to give something back and to raise awareness about blood cancer. Also, when Kole gets older he can look back and understand what he went through.”

Two-and-a-half years later Kole is in remission but still has monthly blood tests and visits Starship once every six months. Cara says he’s rapt to see himself on national television.

“Kole has just started playing interclub tennis and his tennis manager and new teacher both asked if he was the boy on the Shave for a Cure advertisement. That put a big smile on his dial.”

Kole is currently in Year 4 at Newbury School in Palmerston North. In addition to playing tennis he also swims and is looking forward to the soccer season (his team kept a place for him during his treatment). He turns eight in October.

Cara says that prior to Kole getting sick, she wasn’t aware of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s role in supporting patients and families with blood conditions.

“It is a roller coaster emotionally and physically, not knowing what the next day has in-store and LBC was fantastic.

“The information they provide is great and we got more answers about Kole’s condition from the booklet we were given than from anywhere else. We have been fortunate to meet a lot of the staff members that others probably wouldn’t get to meet which has been quite special, it is a tight team of lovely people who all seem to have a huge workload!

I wasn’t aware how much LBC rely on donations so any help that we can give by being part of the television commercial is well worth it.”
Shave for a Cure is Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s signature fundraising event. Everyone shaves including individuals, schools, businesses and community groups. This year Shave Week runs from March 4 to 10. Kiwis can sign up by visiting

“We are so very grateful to Kole for his part in encouraging people to Shave for a Cure, and support the 6 Kiwis diagnosed with a blood cancer or condition every day,” says Pru Etcheverry, CEO, Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand. “His story is similar to that of many of the families we support across the country who need to relocate from their home towns to receive specialist treatment.

“We estimate there are over 10,000 New Zealand families living with a blood cancer diagnosis. Shave for a Cure enables us to continue to provide our services free of charge to these families. This includes supporting patients, providing them with information, advocating on their behalf, raising awareness and investment and support for the latest research into blood cancers and related conditions,” she says.

You can view the Shave for a Cure advertisement here:


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