By Emily Norman
The brother of a breast cancer survivor said goodbye to his “world famous in Masterton” beard on the weekend.
Masterton’s Rowan Hoskins had been growing his beard for almost three years, but he was willing to shave it off to raise more than $1000 for Shocking Pink, an organisation that supported his sister throughout her cancer treatment.
His sister, Masterton mother of three Jasmine Griffiths, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July last year.
She was only 33.
“At the time I thought the diagnosis was really unusual, you know, to have breast cancer that young,” she said.
“I missed a lot of the warning signs because it just wasn’t something I was aware of.
“I thought cancer was something you got as an older person.”
After six months of chemotherapy, surgery, and three weeks of radio therapy, the worst of the ordeal was over.
“I found at the start of it all that the issues raised in the support groups I was going to were totally different to the issues that I was facing, being younger.
“That’s when I came across Shocking Pink, which had been designed just for young women.”
Shocking Pink is a New Zealand charity dedicated to supporting young women, aged 20-45, through their journey of breast cancer.
“With the fundraiser, we wanted to raise money for Shocking Pink to help other women, but we also wanted to get the awareness out there that it existed,” Jasmine said.
“I’m sure there’s other young women in Wairarapa who have never heard of Shocking Pink, and hopefully raising awareness will be a help to many more people.
“It was certainly a big help for me throughout my long treatment.”
Mr Hoskins said the idea to shave his beard to raise money for Shocking Pink came about just after Jasmine had come out of surgery earlier this year.
“We were trying to come up with ways to donate and raise money for these guys, because they had really helped her through a lot of issues,” Mr Hoskins said.
“My sister said, well everyone knows your beard, so how much will it cost to donate it?”
“I said, I wouldn’t do it for anything less than $1000. So that’s where it started from really.”
Mr Hoskins and Jasmine are “really close” – “and through the whole process it was hard to know how to help someone when they’re going through something like cancer,” he said.
“I guess this is my way of not only saying that I support my sister, but it’s about trying to help this organisation help other young women.”
To donate, visit shockingpink.org.nz