Hair donation: My gift to cheer cancer fighters
By Riya Sahu, Bioinformatics Coordinator, Karkinos Healthcare
When it comes to donation, we always consider donating blood as the most noble act of support to save lives. Or we would further consider donating our organs for transplants. I, on the contrary, discovered hair donation as an equal and important contribution and an act of compassion towards cancer patients who lose their hair as a side effect of chemotherapy.
This hair donation decision happened by chance. It began with an incident that took place during my college days. During a blood donation event, I intended to donate blood but was unable to do so. It was a shocking revelation to know that I fell significantly below the required weight criteria for blood donation, which disqualified me as a donor. I felt disappointed and returned home to browse on the internet to know more on criterias, the dos and don’ts of blood donation.
While browsing, I stumbled upon a website Cope with Cancer that called out to supporters to donate their hair for the benefit of cancer patients. I was immediately drawn into it and I started verifying the organization’s authenticity as well as the legitimate use of hair for the purpose mentioned in the organization’s website. I was convinced and equally impressed to know that the donated hair is used to make wigs for cancer patients.
Unlike donating blood, there are no stringent requirements in donating one’s hair. So, I decided to donate my hair to Cope with Cancer. And, hair is a part of the human body that has no metabolic function. Also, I realized I could put a smile on a cancer patient as a wig can improve one’s confidence and may elevate one’s mood from feeling depressed. I have heard cancer patients go through traumatic times during radiation and chemotherapy sessions. And hair loss is common during those times. Good locks of hair enhances one’s beauty.
Guidelines to donating hair were listed on the website. I followed the steps, couriered the hair meant for donation based on the guidelines and I received a certificate for my contribution from Cope with cancer (Madat Trust). So far, I have contributed twice and will be contributing periodically in the future. Since I posted this good deed on my social media handles, I have also inspired people to donate theirs for this good cause. Being employed at Karkinos Healthcare, which is a purpose-led digital oncology platform, I am ascertained about my decision of hair donation to support cancer fighters.