Petty Officer Daniel Struber was looking forward to 13 March for several reasons, not only did he have his first shave in over six months, but by the end of the day he had raised more than $3000 for cancer research and, having lost the rather fuzzy beard he’d cultivated during that time, his son agreed to kiss him goodnight once again.
Daniel is one of the 150,000 people expected to shave or colour their hair this year as part of the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave. The event is one of Australia’s biggest fundraising events and Daniel says he was motivated to participate through personal experience of the devastating affects of cancer with a family member and close friend.
“When I had a look at how the Leukaemia Foundation uses the money raised for things like providing cancer patients with practical and emotional support, investing in research and providing accomodation for regional patients, I was amazed at some of he costs involved.
“Since they receive no on-going government funding, the money raised from the World’s Greatest Shave is vital and I realised that every dollar counts,” PO Struber said.
This is the first time Daniel has grown a beard and, given his family’s reaction it will probably be his last.
“My wife thinks my beard was the most disgusting thing ever,” he said.
“I’ve been looking forward to being clean shaven again too, a lot of food got stuck in my beard so it’s great not having to worry about wearing half of my dinner on my chin.”
Daniel organised a barbecue at 816 Squadron for his shave and was able to persuade seven others to join him in shedding some hair for a good cause.
So keen was Daniel’s wife, Tina, to ensure that he came home beardless, she shaved Daniel’s beard off herself and donated $50 for the privilege.
Daniel was very pleased by the response.
“My original target was $1000, so I’ve been surprised and really touched by some of the amounts people have donated. But, when you consider that more than 11,500 Australians will be diagnosed with a blood cancer or related blood disorder this year, you realise that it’s a disease that’s sadly not that far from home,” PO Struber said.
Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140622.