A CLOSE friend's battle with lymphoma motivated Liz Boekholt to do the World's Greatest Shave.
The Silkstone resident will shave on March 10 as a sign of solidarity with her friend, and lymphoma sufferer, Sue Gayler.
The women, both teacher aides, have shared a close friendship for more than 25 years.
"Sue called me up in December to tell me her hair had started falling out, so I said I would shave mine too and booked an appointment with my hairdresser," Ms Boekholt said.
"It was that night that the World's Greatest Shave ads came on TV, and I realised I could support Sue and raise money to help with research and support services for sufferers."
Ms Gayler said it was fantastic to know she had Liz's support.
"I lost my hair at the end of last year, I only found out four months ago that I had aggressive lymphoma," she explained.
"I didn't expect Liz to shave her hair at all. I said to her she didn't have to, but she wanted to, and now she's going to raise money," Ms Gayler said. "I went to the doctor after it felt like I'd pulled a muscle in my leg, and a week after that I was having biopsies.
"Two weeks in I started chemo."
It was this treatment that caused Ms Gayler to lose her hair.
Ms Boekholt said seeing how cancer treatment had advanced inspired her to pitch in so it could improve even further.
"Thirty years ago a lot of these technologies weren't around, and that's what all this fundraising is for, to find the best way to treat this," Ms Boekholt said.
The friends agreed Ms Gayler's experience had shown them the value of true friendship.
"For all the laughing we do, there have been low times and we are there to support each other," Ms Boekholt said.
Ms Boekholt will host a garden party fundraiser for 50 family members, friends and colleagues on March 10.
Visit leukaemia.org.au and search "Liz Boekholt" to donate.
- Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphocytes, a cell of the immune system.
- Treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and bone marrow transplants.
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