Gold Coast teenager Tonita Kempnich's hair had just grown back past her shoulders when she had it shaved off this week.
When the Ormuea Woods High student had a tumour removed from her brain 15 months ago the one thing she was dreading was losing her hair.
This week though, the brave 13-year-old, who is in remission, was happy to have her head shaved by Titans rugby league star Greg Bird to help raise awareness and attract financial support for the Leukaemia Foundation.
Rugby League players don't come tougher than Greg Bird.
But the Gold Coast and NSW Origin enforcer was clearly moved after shaving Tonita's head as part of the World's Greatest Shave campaign.
Tonita's mother Robyn watched Bird shaved her daughter's head before they swapped places and she shaved Bird's locks.
Tonita's father, James, wanted to be at the Broadbeach hair salon as his daughter did her bit for cancer awareness.
Unfortunately, he couldn't.
He had another appointment at Brisbane's Wesley Hospital to have further biopsies for lymphoma, a cancer first detected in his kidney two weeks after his daughter underwent brain surgery in 2011.
"We found out James had lymphoma two weeks after Tonita's tumour was removed," Mrs Kempnich told AAP.
"He's just finished three months of intense chemo and thought he'd beaten it.
"But on his latest scans they found a few more hot spots so he is back in hospital having more tests.
"Tonita blames herself because the night before her surgery she heard her dad praying at her bedside saying: 'please give it to me'."
Rugby league players cop a physical beating on the field every weekend.
But Bird said people battling illnesses like cancer or leukaemia and their families were the real heroes.
"There's no game tougher than the fight some people go through with illness like those," he said.
Rugby league's image has taken a battering following information obtained by ASADA officials and Australian Crime Commission recently.
"It's a tough climate to be a rugby league player these days, there's always scandals but there is also a lot of this (charity work by players) that goes unnoticed.
"Not many people see the good stuff rugby league players do for various charities so it's nice to be raising awareness for the World's Greatest Shave and the Leukaemia Foundation."
Donations can be made thorough the Titans World's Greatest Shave page at my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/gctitans or directly to the Leukaemia Foundation.