Braid of Power: How the simple gift of a wig saved me

You cannot imagine the change a wig has brought to the way society relates to me.

 LEAH WEARS her wig and sports a wide smile.  (photo credit: FAMILY ALBUM)
LEAH WEARS her wig and sports a wide smile.
(photo credit: FAMILY ALBUM)

Hello, my name is Leah and I recently recovered from cancer. On the day after the illness, it is important for me to clarify on behalf of all my fellow cancer worriers. In fact, I wanted to shout during all the months of dealing with the disease: I was sick with cancer but I am not cancer. I am not a disease. I am Leah.

Nevertheless, everywhere I went with my bald head, that’s all I was. It took over my whole being in one moment, not only my body but my entire surroundings as well, suddenly everyone sees just my cancer and not me.

You asked how I was doing, prayed for my wellness and showed interest in my treatments with kind intentions, I’m sure, but it all revolved around this illness. Maybe I don’t want to discuss it? Did it occur to you that perhaps I want to talk about that bakery I like so much, the books I like or about my friends and the funny series we like to watch? Or what do you think about that picture on Instagram that everyone is talking about?

It’s still me, Leah, with all my hobbies and interests, just that cancer and a bald head have been added to all this and it makes me stick out and brands me in the eyes of others.

For too long I was different in your eyes. A disease, a bald head. For too long I lost myself and my identity until it finally came and gave me, Leah, back my life: My wig.

"You have given me the strength to fight."

LEAH CHICHEPORTICHE

Since Zichron Menachem gave me a wig made of real hair and I’ve returned back to myself. Suddenly with a wig, you speak to me like a regular person, without even noticing. How are you? What’s going on? Have you seen this? Have you heard that? Just like everyone else. It’s amazing but that’s the power that this wig has given me. It restored me once again to the Leah I used to be.

THIS WIG, which comes from the awesome giving of at least seven women, gave me the ability to look at myself in the mirror and the courage to leave the house. You see, for a young woman of 20, who until not long ago was concerned only with her studies, coming down with cancer caused my world to fall apart. Just like that there was fear that I wish on no one and if fear for my utter existence was not enough, I had to face the shock of the realization that I was about to lose all my hair. It’s a horrible feeling of helplessness. As if my body wasn’t enough, my face had to be affected, too. As if the treatments weren’t enough, must I deal with the staring as well?

And then the wig arrives and lifts an enormous burden off my shoulders. My face is once again covered with delightful hair and the disease, at least to the eyes of others, disappears.

I don’t know the women or teenage girls who have donated their hair. Maybe you are reading this and maybe you have no idea what you have done for me. I want to take this opportunity to let you wonderful people know, that you have taken me out from darkness to light. You have brought Leah back. Leah the classmate, the sister and the daughter. Leah who dreams to resume her hobbies like spinning and sports. Leah that feels free to laugh and to hold tight.

You cannot imagine the change it has brought to the way society relates to me. You cannot imagine the change it has brought to the way I relate to myself. With the wig I am not ashamed. I do not stand out. I am like everyone else. Another person who spends time outdoors enjoying the soothing sun light or the raindrops. It might sound like an exaggeration when I say it: you have saved me. You have given me the strength to fight.

 Zichron Menachem, Hadar Mall (credit: PR) Zichron Menachem, Hadar Mall (credit: PR)

It’s not a cliche: Your Braid is our Power.

Thank you.

The Braid of Power campaign of Zichron Menachem and the Pantene brand will be held between December 5-8, with special events at the Ayalon Mall on Monday and the Malha Mall on Wednesday. During the course of the week, about 500 haircutting businesses from all over the country will cut any donor for free. For the list of hairdressers, visit: https://zichron.org.