Show you care, give hair

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Society is asking for hair donations to make wigs for cancer patients who suffer from hair loss. – FILE PHOTO/ROGER JACOB”/>
Hair model Katherine Alfonzo. The Cancer Society is asking for hair donations to make wigs for cancer patients who suffer from hair loss. – FILE PHOTO/ROGER JACOB

The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society (TTCS) has been providing support and services to cancer patients and their families for over 50 years. From raising awareness and screening to physical, emotional and psychological support, the company has fulfilled its mission: “To create and promote greater awareness of the need for early detection and preventive measures and to reduce the incidence of cancer through education, services and advocacy.”

TTCS President Dr. Asante Le Blanc told Newsday on Sunday that the company recently launched another support program – Show You Care…Donate Some Hair – an initiative through which people can donate hair to transform into wigs for women and girls who have lost their hair to cancer and other hair loss conditions.

She said that because the TTCS is committed and always looking for ways to make the lives of those battling the disease as comfortable as possible, it needs to find as many different angles as possible to try to fulfill its mandate.

“That aspect is interesting and also very important, and it’s something that we don’t always think about,” she said, because there are so many reasonably priced synthetic wigs available on the market. But the hair donation program will allow some cancer patients access to human hair wigs, which are very expensive.

She said that while hair donation in TT is not a new concept, the company is now taking a more active role in an initiative she supported a few years ago when she helped Precious Roots, a non-profit hair donation foundation founded by Cyan Yee. . The hair was collected from donors and shipped to Canada and the United States, then made into wigs and donated to cancer patients.

President of the TT Cancer Society Dr Asante Le Blanc. –

“Unfortunately the wigs are staying in the United States until I find a way to get them back to Trinidad,” Yee told Newsday in a 2019 interview.

Picking up from there, the TTCS recently formalized a partnership with New York-based Butterflies By Blaq Incorporated, an NGO founded in 2012 that provides free hair replacements and hair loss solutions to children and teens who experience hair loss. need.

“It allows us to take our cause globally and partner with a much more structured organization. Every quarter, we send what we’ve collected to our partner in New York, they create wigs, and the TTCS will get feedback. a percentage to be distributed to the local community.

“We don’t know what the demand for wigs is in TT right now because the program was semi-dormant. Because this program is so new, we want patients to contact us if they can’t afford a wig, and they will be placed on the waiting list.

“The only qualification is to be a cancer survivor…The society wants to demonstrate that we are open to suggestions on how we can really help.

“It’s just another way for us to slowly but surely support and help every aspect of this journey called cancer.”

But, she said, because the program was founded on the premise of producing wigs for people who need them, not just cancer patients, but other people with hair loss. such as alopecia will be able to access wigs once they become available.

Le Blanc said the program launched a few weeks ago and people have already started dropping off donations.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that we also try to approach it from a cultural perspective, so we welcome all hair types…

“Once people recognize this is a strong program, they will make the sacrifice of growing their hair to give back, because so many people have been touched by cancer, directly or indirectly.”

And, she said, the call isn’t just for women. Men too can do their part by donating to this worthy cause.

“It’s about us being able to give it back. It’s not a one-off promotion, it’s a permanent part of the company.”

Donation instructions:

Hair should be clean and thoroughly dried.

It should be at least 12 inches long. Curly hair should be pulled straight to measure the minimum length.

It must not be chemically treated or colored.

Before being cut, it must be in a ponytail or braided

Hair that was cut years ago is fine, as long as it’s neat and in a ponytail or braided.

Each donation should be placed in a pressed and sealed plastic bag, put in an envelope and dropped off at the TTCS Projects Department, Highway Plaza, Freeport, with a $100 administrative fee. Le Blanc explained, “It’s just a small contribution to help ship the hair to the United States and for our partner to reship the wigs.”

For more information on the hair donation program, visit
cancertt.com
or follow the TTCS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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