Mon, Oct 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

People cut their hair to donate to cancer foundation

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

About 100 people yesterday participated in an event at Taipei Expo Park, cutting their hair and donating it for the purpose of making wigs for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Hope Foundation for Cancer Care event-organizer said that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy often experience side-effects, including nausea and vomiting, and that about 100,000 cancer patients in Taiwan suffer from hair loss due to chemotherapy every year.

Changes in their appearance might lead to patients unconsciously isolating themselves, the foundation said, adding that by giving patients natural-looking wigs made of real human hair boosts self-confidence and gives people courage while undergoing treatment.

The goal is to collect enough hair to make 1,000 wigs and raise about NT$3 million (US$92,271) to make the wigs, the foundation said, adding that each wig requires about five to eight bundles of un-dyed hair and costs about NT$3,000 to make.

The foundation received about 110 hair donations and had 98 volunteer hair stylists at yesterday’s event.

The donations came mostly from young girls. A 39-year-old man surnamed Su (蘇) donated his 60cm long hair and said that it took him four years to grow.

“Although I could not help my mom, I can help other people,” he said, adding that seeing his mother lose her hair during chemotherapy had a great impact on him, and he wanted to help other cancer patients.

He said being a man and growing long hair had caused other people to mistake him for a woman, raised doubts about his professional abilities and caused other grievances in his life, but he is glad that his hair would help other people.

The foundation said it accepts hair donations that are at least 30cm long — not dyed or permed, tied into two to three bunches with rubber bands prior to cutting, kept dry and wrapped in clean paper or cotton paper to keep it clean.

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