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Air NZ Chief Exec loses his locks for leukaemia

News Release – For Immediate Release

Bad hair days over for Rob Fyfe
Air NZ Chief Exec loses his locks for leukaemia

Monday 29 October 2007 – Air New Zealand Chief Executive Rob Fyfe will be sporting a new look from Friday 2 November.

Gone will be the well-known “salt and pepper” waves and in their place will be a smooth, gleaming dome.

The head of New Zealand’s national airline is having his head shaved - live on TV3’s Sunrise programme - to raise awareness of the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation’s Appeal Week, which starts on November 6. And what better way to promote it than by signing up for the charity’s signature fundraiser, Shave for a Cure®.

“Air New Zealand supports more than 40 charitable causes each year in a variety of ways and I hope that by having my head shaved we will raise awareness of an extremely important fundraising initiative,” says Rob.

“Every day, 6 New Zealanders are diagnosed with leukaemia or a related blood condition. That figure includes infants, children, teens and adults – everyone. That is why it is so important that we try and raise as much money as possible to help the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation in their vision to cure, mission to care.”

Mr Fyfe will be joined by four female Air New Zealand domestic cabin crew, who will be shaving their heads too.

“It was actually one of them who approached me and inspired me to take the plunge to help this charity – it was a great opportunity to stand side by side with some fellow colleagues and raise awareness of the important work that the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation do.

Pru Etcheverry, Executive Director of the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation, said: “Wow, it is really heart-warming to know Rob and his staff are getting right behind our Appeal Week and Shave for a Cure®. Shave offers supporters a way to show empathy and solidarity for leukaemia patients, many of whom suffer hair loss as a result of life-saving treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“And it is also the main source of funds for our Patient Support Services. The demand for these services is constantly growing and the ongoing challenge for us is sourcing the $1,000 they cost to provide each day.

“The patients and families we work with often require a level of support ranging over months, or even years. They rely on our home and hospital visits, counselling, education and information services way beyond their initial diagnosis. We need to be there so they do not make this journey alone.”

ENDS

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Event details
Date:           Friday 2 November 2007

Time:           7.30am to 8.00am

Venue:         Wellington Airport between Icebreaker and Fuel café

Media are invited to attend on the day. Please register your interest.

The Leukaemia & Blood Foundation:

The Leukaemia & Blood Foundation (LBF) is the only charity dedicated solely to the care and cure of patients with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood conditions.

These diseases can strike anyone, of any age, at any time. Often they occur without warning and treatment may need to begin immediately, continuing for months, or even years. The impact on family and work life is immense.

The LBF are here to ensure that no-one has to make that journey alone, by:


Providing personalised patient support
Funding research ($1.6 million to date)
Acting as patient advocates
Building awareness of diseases
Providing education
We receive no Government funding and rely entirely on fundraising activity, support in kind and the generosity of individuals, companies and trusts.

The numbers:

·      6 New Zealand adults and children are diagnosed every day with leukaemia or a related blood condition

·      Blood cancers combined are the 4th most common cancer in New Zealand

·      New patient referrals to our organisation have grown by an average of 60% over the last three years

·      The LBF responds to more than 700 inbound requests for assistance every month

·      Our Support Services cost $1,000 a day to run

ENDS

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