Minister going bald to honour father’s memory

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FIGHTING CANCER IN SAMOA: Alise Stunnenberg, Lauaki Jason Annandale, Alex Abraham, Minister Loau Keneti Sio, Minister Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i, Nathan Bucknall and Shelley Burich at the campaign launch.

FIGHTING CANCER IN SAMOA: Alise Stunnenberg, Lauaki Jason Annandale, Alex Abraham, Minister Loau Keneti Sio, Minister Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i, Nathan Bucknall and Shelley Burich at the campaign launch.

To honour his late father’s memory and his battle with prostate cancer, Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Solamalemalo Sio will be shaving his hair bald in June to raise public awareness.

The late Loau Solamalemalo Sio Sr. passed away in 2010 after a long battle with prostate cancer.  He was 73 years old.

The agony endured but his father and feeling helpless to comfort him during his final days has prompted Loau to cement his support for the Shave, Save or Dye It drive sponsored by Blue Sky Samoa to raise funds for the Samoa Cancer Society.

“It’s to honour his memory and most importantly to raise public awareness as a constant reminder for our people to undergo medical checks for early detection of cancer,” says Loau reiterating that early detection can save lives.

Joining Loau in the drive scheduled for June 28th is the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai.

Both Cabinet Ministers are fully aware of the challenges faced by the Samoa Cancer Society in terms of resources.

And they are mindful that the number of Samoan patients including cancer patients  referred overseas for specialized treatment funded entirely by government continues to grow with millions of tala every year spent on the program.

“But even with government help, cancer does not discriminate,” says Afamasaga.  “As a loyal Samoa Cancer Society advocate, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi also shaved and dyed his hair for the course."

“And our support is to reaffirm the government’s support.”

The two Cabinet Ministers are targeting $20,000 for the society.

Also on board is BlueSky Samoa.

The company’s Country Manager, Alex Abraham   has entered to shave his head with the "Bluesky Samoa Shave, Save or Dye It" Head Shave Event to benefit Samoa Cancer Society.

As the major sponsor for the event, the Country Manager is walking the talk as he is also is Cancer survivor.

BlueSky Samoa has set their target at $5,000.00 

ANZ bank’s Country Head for Samoa, Bernie Poort, will shave his head as part of the Samoa Cancer Society’s Shave it or Save it campaign, in support of men, women and children with cancer.

ANZ has had a long association with the Samoa Cancer Society and by raising funds and ‘braving the shave’; Poort hopes to sends a strong message of support to people living with cancer.

“Cancer has touched everyone in our community in some way. Whether it’s a relative, a friend, a neighbor or a colleague, we all know someone whose life has been touched by cancer,” Poort said in a press statement.

“I hope that by braving the shave, we will get more people talking about cancer and its effects."

 “The Samoan Cancer Society provides vital support to those impacted by cancer. The money raised through the campaign goes directly towards specialized nurses, family support services, advice lines and important awareness campaigns that aid early detection,” Mr Poort said.

In the final week of the campaign, ANZ staff will also dye their hair ‘ANZ Blue’, to inspire people to donate to the worthy cause.

The event will be staged on June 28th.  And supporters can also dye their hair.  For more information, contact the Samoa Cancer Society.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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