Zeb Taia’s move to St Helens came out of the blue - and also forced him to bring forward a fund raising event close to his heart.
The powerhouse former Gold Coast Titans forward had planned to have his hair shaven off after round three of the NRL season as part of the World’s Greatest Shave initiative in support of Cad’s Cause and the Leukaemia Foundation but all that changes when Saints came calling.
Taia hadn’t had his hair cut for three years and earlier last month decided that the best way he could make a difference was to shave his head to support former media manager, Neil Cadigan, and his charity, Cad’s Cause, which has dedicated its fund-raising to the Leukaemia Foundation.
Dedicated in memory of Cadigan’s son, Andrew, who tragically lost his life in a motor accident but also to continue the large amount of work Andrew had done in remembering his mate, Chris Simpson, who died from myelodysplasia (MDS) in 2010.
Zeb said: “Cad’s Cause is something that I’ve become close to over the past 12 months and as soon I made the decision to shave my head, I knew that I would again want to support this cause.”
Cadigan added: “Not only is Zeb’s support appreciated greatly by me and the many supporters of Cad’s wish to make a difference, money raised goes to what we hope will be a breakthrough in the treatment of the deadly, yet little known disease, MDS,”
“When first confronted with the task of raising the full $180,000 it seemed daunting. But the support of third parties like Zeb who learned of Cad and Simmo’s story has now put the target within reach.
“What Zeb is doing, (and I know how much he loves his locks) typifies his great character and the Titans’ genuine devotion to the community that I have been privileged to witness first hand.
“It is also an amazing gesture in continuing Cad’s legacy.”
On his arrival in this country Zeb assured Saints’ fans that, unlike Sampson, he will not lose his strength!
No doubt he will also be calling on his new team-mates to dig deep into their pockets for such a worth cause.