Snipping off their locks for cancer patients

MBOR chief operating officer Christopher Wong presenting the certificate for the Hope for Hair campaign to (from left) Dr Tan, Ang and JCI national president Nurul-Huda Mohamed Afandi. — ZAHID IZZANI/THE STAR

FOR most cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, hair loss problem is inevitable. 

To help them overcome this, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Kuala Lumpur, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) students from the main campus in Kuala Lumpur and campuses from Penang, Perak, Johor and Sabah and Locks of Hope Association organised a hair donation campaign.

The Hair for Hope campaign was listed in the Malaysia Book of Records for organising a ponytail donation campaign with the largest participation.

It was to allow cancer patients suffering from chemotherapy treatments to smile again with new hair. As of the morning of Aug 1, some 8,677 donors cut off their ponytails to be contributed to deserving patients.

The campaign aimed to heighten public awareness on the plight of cancer patients.

The eight-month-long hair donation campaign culminated in a hair donation event featuring a hair cutting session, informative exhibitions, and booths selling various items to raise funds.

Eight stylists from E3 Salon were brought by Locks of Hope Association to perform the haircutting.

Until the morning of Aug 1, some 8,677 donors had cut off their ponytails to be contributed to patients facing hair loss problem.
Until the morning of Aug 1, some 8,677 donors had cut off their ponytails to be contributed to patients facing hair loss problem.

Locks of Hope Association vice-president Ang Ping Hean said he was extremely grateful to be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records although it was never a priority.

The response from the campaign exceeded his expectations, especially in terms of the amount of funds and hair collected.

“We had a lot of hair, but insufficient funds.To produce one wig cost about RM800 due to the shipment and manufacturing processes.

“We would like to thank TAR UC and JCI for their dedication in raising funds and collecting the hair,” he said.

Ang urged cancer patients who experienced hair loss problem to contact them to obtain wigs. They also plan to make National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) and Breast Cancer Welfare Association the possible beneficiaries.

TAR UC president Datuk Dr Tan Chik Heok shared his personal experience on losing a colleague to cancer several days before the event.

Dr Tan said Hair for Hope campaign was not only for those fighting cancer but the whole community.

“The treatment of cancer and its significant side effects can be difficult emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

“For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, more often than not, hair loss can be a traumatic experience for them.

“In order to overcome this situation, wigs are the best choice while waiting for their hair to regrow.

“Unfortunately, a costly wig may be out of reach for many patients,” he said.

Tan added he was proud to see TAR UC students working hard to seek donors who were willing to donate their hair to be made into wigs.

As of July 31, 550 TAR UC students from various campuses collected hair from more than 2,500 donors and raised over RM10,800 for the campaign.

Locks of Hope Association also received RM10,000 from JCI.

Siddhattha Ching Carl Chun, 20, a degree student at TAR UC was one of the donors who got his long hair snipped on the day of the event.

A registered organ donor, Ching said that he wanted to help the underprivileged improve their quality of life.

To know more about the Locks of Hope Hair Donation Campaign, download the form from the Locks of Hope Association Facebook page.

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