This Hair is for You: Breast Cancer Awareness

Every October I spend a large amount of time thinking and writing about cancer awareness. Of course it’s officially Breast Cancer Awareness month but there are so many different types of cancer and I have so many family members and friends who have fought cancer that I just can’t limit it to one kind. Cancer is a monster with many faces and I hate them all equally.

Breast Cancer

If you are a long time NanaHood friend you know that it was last October when I lost my cousin/soul sister, Martha, to breast cancer. She fought long and hard and with so much dignity that she was an inspiration to me and many others. This first year without her has been hard for all of us who knew and loved her. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. To read more about Martha and her battle you can read about her here and here.

me-and-martha-2-766x1024

 

Helplessness

One of the most frustrating things about watching someone you love become so sick with cancer is wishing there was something you could do. I visited as much as I could and I drover her to the doctor. I prayed for her and held her hand. But I still wanted to do more. So back in 2013 I decided that if Martha could lose her hair to chemo (and radiation therapy), I could grow mine to donate. You can read about my decision here.

When I started growing my hair out in 2013 I had no way of knowing that it would take me 3 years to get it long enough to donate. I had no way of knowing that Martha wouldn’t be here to know that I had donated it for her in her honor, but that’s what happened.

Every month I have wondered if this would be the month that my hair would finally be long enough to cut and yesterday when I walked into my hair salon my hair dresser said, “I think it’s long enough. Let’s measure it and see.”

It’s Just Hair

growing hair for wigs for cancer

We measured. He cut. Goodbye hair.

hair for wigs for cancer patients

Was I sad to see all that hair go? Not a bit. Especially when my hair dresser told me about the organization he’d found that he was sending it to, AngelHairFoundation.org  Have you heard of it? Kids with cancer (or hair loss for any reason) are able to receive a hair system through this organization.

Here’s their mission statement:

Our goal is to give the gift of feeling ordinary back to families in crisis. For weeks and months, children struggle to hold onto who they were before their cancer or medical condition. Even on good days, a glance of their reflection reminds them: things are different. So, when a child cautiously picks up the mirror and sees her Angel Hair System for the first time, she doesn’t see just a hairpiece.

Over 240* times we’ve witnessed kids joy and renewal – they see “the old me” and immediately feel a small sense of normalcy. Even if for a just a moment, kids are able to feel like themselves again.

Honored

To think that my hair might help a child feel better about themselves is an honor. I can’t close this article without mentioning that I also support Stand Up 2 Cancer and donate frequently (money-not hair) to them.

Whatever you can do, won’t you do it? Donate hair, or money or time, and of course pray. Daily prayers for people fighting cancer and for researchers working to find a cure, as well as doctors and other medical professionals who work with cancer patients are needed.

I can’t end this article without saying, “Martha, I love you and miss you. I’ll never forget you. You taught me so much about life, love, faith and death. Thank you for the years of friendship and the memories. This hair is for you!”

hair cut for cancer

This is a blog hop! Would love for you to link up and comment!

Comments

  1. Martha was so lucky to have had you as a friend.
    I’m sorry for your loss and I admire what you’ve made of it. Question though: Is a hair system a wig? (The short cut is very becoming.)

  2. You look beautiful with the new “do”!!!

  3. teresak 3 Oct, 2016

    Thank you!

  4. teresak 3 Oct, 2016

    Thank you Linda, but I was the lucky one!

  5. Peggy 3 Oct, 2016

    Love the hair, jacket looks good on you too! Miss you

  6. What an incredibly moving story and selfless act Teresa – thank you for sharing!

  7. Thank you for inviting me over to join in your blog hop, what a wonderful selfless thing you have a done and what an amazing amount of patience you have to grow your hair for that long… Thank you

  8. I cant even imagine what you went through with your friend, the idea of giving hair in her remembrance was awesome.

    Thank you for hosting this week, hope you have a great week!

  9. Thanks for enlightening us.

  10. Sorry for your loss. My daughter has donated her hair a couple of times.

  11. I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my mother to breast cancer. My daughter donated her hair for cancer victims last year.

  12. Sorry for your loss. What a wonderful thing to donate your hair! I think I’ve heard that they won’t take gray hair. 🙁 Maybe some day I’ll find a company who will. Thanks for helping spread the word for so many great organizations. Hope you have a great rest of the week.

  13. So glad for your contribution! What about hair that has been dyed? I’m wondering in future. My girls and I all have good hair. I’d have to research who to send it to in South Africa next time.

  14. My goodness, I’m at loss for words. I had breast cancer two ago. In 2014 was my year of treatment. So sad to hear she lost. Dang, I hate cancer. I can bearly talk about it.
    Renae ~

  15. Fantastic effort Teresa! my aunty was recently diagnosed with breast cancer so I am keenly aware of it’s effect.

  16. teresak 6 Oct, 2016

    Thank you for writing and prayers for your aunt!

  17. teresak 6 Oct, 2016

    I’m so sorry for your experience but that’s behind you now! You are a survivor! Join the fight for others!

  18. teresak 6 Oct, 2016

    My hair is color treated as I have some gray. There are organizations that accept color treated hair!

  19. teresak 6 Oct, 2016

    There are organizations that take all types of hair, color treated too!

  20. Very nice – thank you for hosting as well. Have a great week.

  21. teresak 8 Oct, 2016

    Thank you so much Charles!

  22. Your hair looks cute! A great cause it went to!

  23. teresak 12 Oct, 2016

    Thank you Alissa!

  24. teresak 19 Oct, 2016

    Good for your daughter, Joyce! That’s awesome!

  25. teresak 19 Oct, 2016

    And thank you Jim for stopping by!

  26. teresak 19 Oct, 2016

    It was nothing compared to what my cousin went through! Thank you Amanda for your kind words!

  27. Having lost my hair to chemo there aren’t enough words of love and gratitude for your gesture. God bless you, Teresa. Like you I support SU2C. They’re the only cancer organization I support and work to promote each of their telecasts. They’re committed to creating new models that bring the best cancer researchers in the world together.

  28. teresak 7 Dec, 2016

    Thank you so much for commenting! Hugs to you Brenda!