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.
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.
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
We measured. He cut. Goodbye hair.
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.
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!”
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