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A father goes to the ball

“I’ve always had long hair since high school. They said after my third round of chemotherapy that I’d notice my hair. I decided to test it in the shower and gave my hair a tug. I saw how much came out and how easy it was.”

Earlier this year, Daron MacDonald and his whānau were rocked by a shock diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

To honour her father, his daughter, Brittany decided to cut her own hair in a special Chop the Mop fundraiser surrounded by friends and whānau.

“Brittany felt she wanted to do something because she’s proud of me, my attitude and the way we’re going about it,” says Daron.

“Brittany made a wonderful evening. She bought two corsages, one for me and one for herself. She invited me to be her date to the ball so I got out my dinner suit. Then we cut each other’s ponytail.”

After Daron’s diagnosis, he was supported by Cancer Society nurse, Leoni Lawry, and utilised our free transport to treatment service to get to and from chemotherapy.

“You guys are wonderful. And I’ve met people at chemotherapy. There’s a community – it’s very real. There’s an eclectic amount of different people, some very sad stories but some wonderful, good stories too. I hope all the best for all of us.”

Daron and his whānau have currently raised almost $3,000 and feel very grateful to everyone who has so far donated.

“It’s amazing, just wonderful people donating - even from people we don’t even know! The goal was $1,000 to start with but we raised that in just a few days so we put the target up!”

Like all fathers, Daron stresses the importance of his family during his cancer experience.

“My children are all special. Everybody’s kids are wonderful and I’m no exception. My children and my wife, they’re my rocks. I find it quite overwhelming what they’re like, they’re just really cool and I’m so proud of them.”

If you'd like to donate, you can contribute to Daron and Brittany's fundraiser here