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Live as best you can with the cancer you have, and if you have things you want to do, achieve them with your family and friends alongside you.


Sally Maynard is feeling apprehensive, scared and excited all at the same time. The 54-year-old from Whangaparaoa is about to shave off all her hair to raise much-needed funds for the Cancer Society of New Zealand and to help New Zealanders affected by cancer.

While she has coloured her hair before in support of the Cancer Society, this will be the first time Sal has shaved her head in the name of the cause.

She has known about the Cancer Society for “a very long time” and while she hasn’t had a cancer diagnosis herself, Sal has had a few close friends and acquaintances go through cancer.

Sal had a good school friend pass away last year from pancreatic cancer, then another friend passed away in December from brain and liver cancer. Two friends have been diagnosed with throat cancer and are doing their best to live well with a cancer diagnosis. These were all diagnosed over the past two to three years.

“Some of the people I know have survived, and some haven’t,” explains Sal. “It really affects you emotionally. This has been a very emotional journey for me. I know it’s nothing compared to what some patients and their families are experiencing, so that’s why I want to help in some small way.”

Sal’s blonde hair is currently 25 centimetres long – and it’s all going to be donated to create a wig for someone with cancer. Sal says she hopes the funds she raises from her “Mop Chop” will also be used to help the people who need them.

Ideally, she would like the money to go towards extra expenses that can be hard for cancer patients and their families to afford while they are travelling for treatment.

“I want the funds to help people pay for that extra night’s accommodation when your family member needs you to stay, a quiet coffee or an ice cream, a meal with a friend to talk about how you are feeling, that extra $20 for petrol,” Sal explains.

And she can’t think of a better place for the money to go, saying she has wanted to raise funds for the Cancer Society for a while now. Sal strongly believes in the cause and wants to support the charity any way she can.

“The Cancer Society helps people with cancer to live with dignity. It’s so important that the community supports these incredible people.”

Sal also has a message of hope and support for New Zealanders going through cancer and for their friends, whānau and supporters who are coping with the shock of a cancer diagnosis.

“Live as best you can with the cancer you have, and if you have things you want to do, achieve them with your family and friends alongside you.”

Sal’s Mop Chop is scheduled for Saturday 27 January 2024 - and she has already raised more than her target of $1000. You can support her to make a difference to people with cancer in New Zealand by donating at