Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hair Donation

About two years ago a close and much loved family member was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer at the age of 88. Thankfully, this summer marks a full year of remission for her, and gave us all an extra special reason to be thankful when we celebrated her 90th birthday.

While going through chemo she was given the opportunity to receive a free wig, makeup, and lessons on how to draw in eyebrows. These were wonderful things, but when I heard the story it sounded to me like the best part was being in a group of women all going through cancer treatments. The wig could have been purchased, and we could have found YouTube tutorials on drawing in eyebrows, but enjoying a few hours of pampering while being around other women who understood her trials is what made it an invaluable experience.

Giving back and being involved in charities is very important to me, but this was the first time I saw a charity program directly affect someone I love. I was moved by the program's ability to make a difference in her life, and very grateful to the people who helped her in a way no one in my family could.

As a way to honor her struggle and recovery, and as a silent thank you to the organization that helped her, I decided to donate my hair upon hearing this story. I did research into Locks of Love vs. Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and decided I like Pantene's program better.

Before and after.
After much patience (on my part as well as on my hairstylist's part), on a recent Saturday, I headed off to the salon to chop off and donate 13" of hair. I was a little nervous because I've had long hair for years, and I worried I wouldn't like the way I looked with short hair. I reminded myself that it's only hair, it will grow back, and that someone else -- who is going through more strife than I am right now -- needed it more than I did. I made a ponytail, and it took just a few snips for my hairstylist to cut through the hair.

Later, as she was cutting my remaining locks into a fun short 'do, I shared my family member's story. Since the stage four diagnosis came at age 88, my hairstylist assumed my loved one had not recovered. When I corrected her, she paused, scissors in midair, and said "Oh, wow. That just gave me chills. How incredible and wonderful."

I could not possibly agree more.

13" looks like so little!
No wonder it takes up to 15 ponytails to make one wig.
If you would like to donate your hair (the minimum is 8"), here are the donation requirements for Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and here are the instructions for cutting and mailing your hair.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut