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From Mowhawk Man to Bald Eagle



From Mowhawk Man to Bald Eagle

Nick Poortman, a 23-year-old audio engineer from Titirangi, is shaving his distinctive eight-inch high mohawk for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s (LBC’s) Shave for a Cure campaign.

Nick will be shorn by Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s ambassador Hilary Barry at the Albany Farmers store on March 8 at 12pm. Farmers, a long-term supporter of LBC are holding Shaves at 10 of their stores over Shave Week (March 4 to 10).

“I have personally been touched by cancer with a few friends receiving a cancer diagnosis. If I can help raise money to help find a cure it’s the least I can do,”

“I've had my mohawk for two and a half years now, and it has really become a big part of me. I'll have my hair up when it is chopped off, so hopefully it will provide some good entertainment too,” says Nick Poortman.
Poortman says he spends 30 minutes to craft his hair into a mowhawk.

“I don’t wear it that way every day. The height of it can make driving a car pretty difficult,” he says.

Shave for a Cure is Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s largest fundraising event. Thousands of Kiwis across the country shave their heads to raise funds for the 6 Kiwis diagnosed every day with blood cancers – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma and related blood conditions. Many of these patients suffer hair loss through treatment.

“We are delighted Nick is taking part in Shave for a Cure and helping raise awareness of our work.

Shave provides a fantastic way to really make a difference, and show you care, as so many New Zealanders have been affected by a blood diagnosis,” says Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Pru Etcheverry.

LBC receives no government funding and relies on Shave for a Cure to keep its services free of charge to patients. These include patient support, support and funding for research, providing education and information and advocating on behalf of patients.

Visit Nick’s profile here

People can register and establish individual fundraising pages at


Editors Notes:

Key facts about blood cancers
• Every day, six New Zealanders are diagnosed with a blood cancer - that’s about 2,200 New Zealanders a year
• The cause of blood cancers is unknown
• These diseases can strike anyone, of any age, at any time, without warning
• Blood cancers combined (leukaemia, lymphoma and, myeloma) are the fifth most common cancer in New Zealand
• Immediate treatment may be necessary and that treatment can go on for months or even years.

• Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer.

• In New Zealand, lymphoma is the sixth most common cancer, with close to 900 people being diagnosed every year
• Lymphoma is the most common cancer affecting 15-24 year olds.

• Around 300 people are diagnosed with myeloma in New Zealand each year
• Pacific Islanders and Maori have a higher incidence of myeloma.


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