The Cancer Concern Association on Praslin, Seychelles' second-largest island, organised a fund-raising activity to finance a hospice for individuals needing palliative care.
'Brave the Shave' which took place on Mahe, the main island, in October, was repeated on Praslin on Saturday. 'Brave the Shave' is an international fundraising activity whose proceeds go to cancer victims and their families.
The chairperson of the association, Tasianna Bossy, told SNA that there is great demand from the community for such a facility on Praslin.
"We carry out a lot of visits to the hospital and homes and we have seen the demand for extra care and privacy. When a person is going through the last stage of life, they won't always get access to a private room which costs. There is a need for the person to have more comfort, care and privacy," said Bossy.
She said that the hospice project is "still in the preliminary stage."
"We are working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health. It is the health ministry that will provide us with the place, whether it is a new piece of land or a building belonging to the ministry. We are getting the assistance of businessmen where we will fund the hospice," said Bossy.
Despite the persistent rain on Saturday, a large number of individuals attended the activity and contributed generously.
Other than paying for shaving the hair, participants could donate blood, do rapid HIV tests, do a prostate or breast cancer test and check their blood pressure. The public also had the chance to buy a space on a 'wall' to be placed in the future hospice. A piece of plywood had been designed into a wall with pink bricks, each costing SCR 250 ($18).
At the moment the exact figure raised is not known, but the chairperson mentioned that the Association is getting the support of many businesses from both Mahe and Praslin.
Peter Pomeroy, a participant, said he took part in 'Brave the Shave' because "it is for a very good cause."
"Members of my own family have been affected by cancer over the years and we all know what a terrible disease this is and any small thing I can do to make the situation of families better on Praslin, then I will do so. I have pledged SCR10,000 ($730) for my shave and my children gave SCR2,500 ($183) for the bricks," said Pomeroy.
Though the act cannot compare to a cancer patient losing their hair, many of the participants and people present said that 'Brave the Shave' is a great way to raise fund and awareness about the disease, supporting victims in the process.
"My mother died with cancer and I'm concerned and wanted to help make things better for others," said another participant, Roddy Moustache.