Love is in the Hair! Donate Your Hair for Cancer Patients
Love is in the Hair! AJ Hospital and Research Centre with the Theme “Hair to Help Her” organised “Hair Donation Campaign”
Mangaluru: If you’re in the mood for a new hairstyle and a fabulous short ‘do is on your mind, don’t just sweep it away into the trash. Instead, consider donating your hair to a worthy charitable cause. Many patients lose their hair due to cancer treatments. When a person loses their hair, they often lose some self-esteem too. That’s why donating your hair to create a natural looking wig for a person in need is such a great idea.
Donating hair for cancer patients is both easy and rewarding. You will feel good knowing that your short hairstyle has helped out someone who really needs it. If your local hair salon doesn’t have a hair donation program, you can still donate it to AH Hospital and research centre, where they will forward it to the concerned NGO. Hair donations are accepted in India from hair donors by various NGOs, one among them is Sargakshethra Cultural and Charitable Center, who is collaborating with today’s Hair Donation Campaign.These NGOs will help poor financially weak patients undergoing hair loss (short or long term) due to various medical conditions to make wigs. Anyone can donate hair for patients who lose hair during treatment like chemotherapy, radiation due to cancer, burn victims, or other dermatological conditions.
A.J Hospital and Research Centre organised a ‘Hair Donation Campaign’ in association with Sargakshethra Culture & Charitable Center, AJ Cancer Institute, AJ Institute of Dental science, Heaven Rose Professional Unisex Salon, and Veera’s dudes & dolls Style Studio on 7th December 2016 at A.J. Conference Hall at 9.00am. The aim of this campaign is to create more awareness about hair donation, to inspire people to grow healthy hair and donate it for a noble cause. The programme began with invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song, followed by welcome address by the compere, Dr Sindhu Prasad- Operation department AJ Hospital.
The programme was inaugurated by lighting the lamp by chief guest, Dr Prashanth Marla- Medical Director, AJ Hospital, along with Dr Amita Marla- Medical Administrator, AJ Hospital, Dr Kamalaksh Shenoy, Consultant Radiation Oncologist, and Dr Rachan Shetty, Consultant Medical Oncologist at AJ Hospital. Dr Prashanth Marla addressing the gathering said, ” This idea of Hair Donation to Cancer patients who have lost hair due to chemotherapy is new and appreciate the efforts put by the organising. We need to raise awareness first, and there is a lot of work to do to make hair donation known. But I am happy that the initiative has started and our Hospital is working to implement this initiative. I feel every woman deserves to have hair, and that hair donated be used for the good cause of cancer patients”
Dr Kamalaksh Shenoy speaking during the occasion said, ” Presently due to lack of awareness about hair donation, there are very few hair donors in India. We need to create more awareness and host hair donation events. Regardless of whether individuals donate hair privately at home or at their local salon, or join others in a community hair donating event, hair donations are essential to make the project successful. People donate their hair, knowing that it will be used for someone who needs it – someone who deserves it. It is a good way for those who could give something back without having to give money to make charitable donations. If you want to do a good deed but don’t have the time to spare to commit to volunteer work, donating hair for cancer patients. It won’t take up your free time, but it’s still a way to show that you care.”
Dr Rachan Shetty also speaking said, “When someone loses hair due to an illness or as a side effect of medical treatment, the hair loss is devastating in any degree from slight to severe. We all consider the condition of our hair to be part of how we look and present ourselves to the world and when that privilege is taken away, the results can feel devastating. To make matters worse, a bald head attracts attention, especially for a woman. This leads to strangers asking awkward questions about the illness and the therapy, which may be something that the patient would not want to talk about. This effect on their appearance can be a further setback to women who are already enduring physical and emotional hardship. So many women don’t opt for chemotherapy, since they fear about loss of hair and that they won’t be able to face the public. Also getting a wig is very hard, also they are quite expensive ranging between Rs 10,000 – 15,000. Hair Donation Campaign will go a long way in helping cancer patients losing hair”.
Chaitanya Yogesh, a 21-year-old a civil engineer student and a cancer survivor narrated her experience being a patient affected with cancer. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, along with her mother, Bhavani, beside her she narrated her ordeal as to how she coped with this deadly disease. She said, ” She developed symptoms of severe pain in her tongue in the year July 2013. But immediately she went in for treatment, where at the beginning, Dr Rohan Gatty at Fr Muller Hospital checked and treated her- but later two doctors namely Dr Dinesh Kadam and Dr Kamalaksh Shenoy, both at AJ Shetty Hospital saved me from this deadly disease. Since my cancer was detected at a very early stage, I was fortunate to be completely cured, and I feel healthy and better now”.
Miss Chaitanya Yogesh seen with her mom, Bhavani
“I was 48 kgs, but during the cancer treatment I lost weight – nearly 18 kgs, but I have gained my weight back – I am 45 kgs now. The doctor started counselling me by telling me that it is not the end of the world and there is hope for me. I was lucky to have good doctors who motivated me throughout my journey. My family also helped me to maintain a positive attitude. What makes it easy for cancer patients to succumb to the disease is the lack of motivation to fight the disease by maintaining a positive attitude, while late diagnosis also leads to many people dying, Lack of acceptance is another cause. Although it cannot always be prevented, the risks of cancer can be reduced by a healthy lifestyle which includes adequate exercise and a healthy diet. The chances of dying from cancer can be reduced by early detection. I want people to learn not to give up. They should fight, Cancer is curable if detected early”, adds Angolo.
Really a great and emotional story by Chaitanya Yogesh. However, strong emotional support from her doctor and family, fueled by her determination to live in order to encourage other people battling cancer, saw her through. She also believed that God would see her through.Today, Chaitanya is cancer free and goes to all corners to give a message of hope to people diagnosed with cancer, as well as the general population on the importance of early detection and maintaining a positive attitude through it all. Although it took a couple of months for her to gather enough courage to consult a doctor. And when she eventually did, the doctor referred her for an examination, where it emerged that the pain was cancerous.
During her time on treatment, she saw many depressed cancer patients. She saw how some people were reacting. Some people were just angry, others just looked depressed and wanted to be on their own. That motivated her to be strong so that she could encourage other cancer patients when she fully recovered so that they do not lose hope. Chaitanya who now leads a normal life became a cancer activist after her ordeal. May God bless Chaitanya for her courage and determination in spreading the message of cancer and bringing awareness of cancer among people, especially women.
Nearly 35 donors had come forward to donate their hair, including 30 women from AJ Hospital, 3 girl students from St Aloysius College-Mangaluru, and 2 citizens of Mangaluru. Rohan Carlo- proprietor of Veera’s Dudes and Dolls Style Studio; and Mustafa Premi-Proprietor of Royal Heaven Rose Unisex Salon, along with their respective staff got the haircut of the donors to specific standards as per hair donation procedures.The criteria for donating hair is as follows:
• Hair should be at least 15 inches in length
• Wash and cleanse your hair neatly (shampoo or condition hair, without any styling, hairspray, or additional hair products)
• Dandruff / Damaged / Chemically treated hair are not accepted
• Place rubber band or ponytail holder on each end
• Cut your hair just above the rubber band / ponytail holder on top
• Place ponytail in elastic band / in a zipper-lock bag and send it
At least 6-7 women’s hair is required to make one wig. The donated hair received is sorted according to their quality and then used to make a wig.
In conclusion, all I have to say is that the effects of hair loss go deeper than just a change in a patients’ outward appearance. Hair loss can erode a patients’ self-confidence and limit them from experiencing life the way they should. With an injured self-image, their attitude toward treatment and their physical response to it can be negatively affected also. Thus donating hair to make wigs for those suffering from hair loss helps them to look themselves and live their lives. Hair donations are accepted here from hair donors to help poor financially weak patients undergoing hair loss (short or long term) due to various medical conditions to make wigs. Anyone can donate hair for patients who lose hair during treatment of chemotherapy, radiation due to cancer.
That’s why donating hair for hair loss victims is so noble. It doesn’t just give them hair – it gives them confidence. Donating hair to create a natural looking wig will also allow patients to go on with their lives without announcing “I’m a patient” to the rest of the world. It isn’t just about hair, it’s a sort of psychological treatment for all who are suffering hair loss through illness. For many of the cancer patients that I have seen, it’s the missing link in their treatment and process of recovery. My appeal to people with healthy hair is to consider hair donation as a unique way to help those who are ill. Hair donation can be thought of as an act of sacrifice similar to organ donation which can be repeated over and over again unlike organ donation which usually only happens once.
So, this December donate your hair to make wigs for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Donating hair for cancer patients is both easy and rewarding and anyone can do so. Give wigs to hose who can’t afford them! And if you can’t donate your hair but still want to help, you can boost self-esteem and return a sense of normalcy to the life of a woman undergoing cancer treatment by giving monetary help.
Please contact :
AJ Hospital and Research Centre at : 0824-222-5533; or Chethan Kumar (Transplant Coordinator) at : 8147662990; Clita (Operation coordinator) at : 9741483790; Ramya (Operation Coordinator) at : 8494890300
About Sarga Kshethra Cultural and Charitable Center:
Sarga Kshethra is a breeding ground for the creative talents of the young generation. It is a fertile ground (KSHETRA) to cultivate and develop native human potentials and creativity (SARGA). Inspired by the vision and heritage of Blessed Kuriakose Chavara, one of the founding fathers of the CMI congregation, in dealing with the development of human resources, the CI Fathers have been actively engaged in providing holistic and integral developments of individual persons through education and socio-economical activities.
Sarga Kshethra is one of such action centres for human resources development run under the auspices of CI Sacred Heart Monastery, Chethipuzha, Changanacherry, for providing efficient leadership training to people of all age-groups, irrespective of caste and creed for the developing their socio-cultural potentials and their artistic and creative talents. Sarga Kshethra is concerned about the current social issues of Kerala and is working hard towards it. Programs towards Road Safety, Children cultural and holistic developmental Act, and Alcohol-free campaigns and Hair Donations are few of them.
Cancer patients, especially females, due to the result of chemotherapy, lose their hair in the process of their treatment. This usually affects them emotionally in addition to the already mental trauma that the patient goes through. Observing this, Sarga Kshethra has started the Hair Donation Campaign. In this, people are made aware of the situation and requested to donate their hair to make wigs, which will be given to the patients later.