Five-year-old Hsu Kai-en (徐凱恩) on Thursday donated his hair to the Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital’s cancer resource center in honor of his late cousin.
Hsu’s cousin Chang Fang-yu (張芳瑜) had been donating her hair to help cancer patients from a young age, Hsu’s mother, Lin Chia-fang (林佳芬), said.
Chang was diagnosed with cancer when she was in the sixth grade and passed away five years later, Lin said, adding that to continue his cousin’s legacy, Hsu began growing out his hair when he was three years old.
Hsu’s four-year-old cousin Wen Tzu-tang (?子瑭), classmate Wang Yueh-chun (王玥淳) and Wang Yueh-chun’s sister, Wang Yueh-han (王玥涵), on Thursday also donated about 50cm of hair each.
Hair loss due to chemotherapy can affect patients emotionally, and their work and social lives, Tzu Chi ontology department director Lee Tien-kun (李典錕) said.
Becasue wigs made of human hair cost NT$20,000 to NT$50,000, the hospital has partnered with a wig company to collect hair donations and lend wigs to cancer patients for free, Lee said.
Patients only need to pay a NT$150 cleaning fee to borrow the wigs, the center said.
Each wig requires an average of eight to 10 ponytails to make and can be used for about two years, it said.
The hospital has been hosting the hair donation program for more than a year and has more than 300 wigs, it added.
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