After my sister was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2010, she cut her long blonde hair to an ear-length bob in preparation for the inevitable chemotherapy hair loss. Just a few weeks later, she was completely bald and we headed out to Brooklyn to buy a wig from a store that serves Jewish women who cover their hair for religious reasons.
The owner of the shop was so kind and accommodating, fitting my sister with wig after wig until she found two she liked. While not inexpensive, the wigs were an investment in my sister’s self-image and kept her looking beautiful even when she wasn’t feeling well. One nurse actually lamented about my sister losing her gorgeous ‘hair’; my sister laughed and pulled off her wig. The wigs were just that realistic. These days, my sister is sporting her own hair, which grew back curly!
Seeing the positive impact the wig had on my sister (and on those of us around her), I was inspired to start growing my shoulder-length hair so I could donate it. Today, more than 2 years after my sister was diagnosed with ALL, I had my hair cut in her honor. I decided to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program because they accept 8″–I thought my hair was only going to be that long–and the hair goes to make wigs for cancer patients.
In 30 months, my hair grew to my waist. I had it trimmed regularly (micro-trims!) and only used temporary hair color to cover my scattered grays. All told, 14.5 inches of (layered) hair was lopped off my head, leaving me with a swingy shoulder-length bob.
Tomorrow I’ll mail out this pony of mine with positive thoughts for the eventual recipient who will be on the receiving end of a wig cobbled together with my hair and the hair of others. My gratitude for my sister’s continued recovery knows no bounds and this is just a small way of giving back.