Your braid is her power

Preparing for the 7th annual Zichron Menachem-Pantene hair-donation campaign

‘IF YOU HAVE any doubts about whether you are doing the right thing by donating your hair... we have seen the effect.’  (photo credit: Courtesy)
‘IF YOU HAVE any doubts about whether you are doing the right thing by donating your hair... we have seen the effect.’
(photo credit: Courtesy)
I want to tell you something that might surprise you all. Honestly, it surprises me as well each and every time: For most women, teenagers and young girls, who for the first time hear they have been diagnosed with cancer, more than they fear for their lives, more than they are afraid of treatments and injections – their first concern is their hair.
This is not superficiality. God forbid. Neither is it a repression of the tragic news. It is a real concern of cancer patients who are afraid, first of all, of losing their own self.
It is the feeling of many of the cancer patients who are losing their hair. For women and young girls, naturally, the loss is even more difficult and significant.
Whoever loses her hair becomes different. She is marked. She turns away the look of those who surround her. She is not herself anymore. She becomes threatened by her illness. She feels she’s in a spotlight of horror.
No one wants to feel like a walking illness, soaking in the looks, the pity. A constant reminder of being ill hovers over your head. With every glance in the mirror, a reflection in a window or through the aching eyes of others, close or distant, even if they will try with all of their might, they will not succeed in not staring at the bald head – a billboard for an invisible disease.
The most amazing thing is that the solution to this severe pain of those who battle cancer is so simple.
True, it cannot be bought with money, but it also does not need decades of research and development. It needs scissors and goodwill, and thank God, the State of Israel proves to me year after year that it is full of goodwill and wonderful people willing to help these cancer patients.
Even though it doesn’t cost anything to donate your hair or to receive it, I am amazed by the giving, every time, all over again. I am excited about every donation, and by the good people who give up their most recognized feature to someone they don’t even know.
Hair is cut at a minimum length of 30 cm. Afterward, your hair is exchanged for another person’s smile, and many of you are donating.
If you have any doubts about whether you are doing the right thing by donating your hair, allow a veteran warhorse like myself to assure you that in more than 30 years of activity, we at Zichron Menachem have accompanied thousands of girls, teenagers and young women in the process of making their wigs, and we have seen the effect.
The wig gives powers: the power to walk around the street; to meet friends; to like everybody else without being stared at; to look in the mirror; the power to breathe life, appreciate it and fight for it.
From January 1-7, we will be holding our annual hair-donation campaign in collaboration with our good and dear friends from Pantene.
I invite readers of all ages to come and become part of this spectacular giving act.
Your braid is their power. You empower them. Every donation is precious. Every donor gives a certain grace to a recipient, and every smile on the lips of a recipient is a whole world.
With your permission, a personal word. Thank you, each and every donor. To each and every one of you who makes a donation, thank you from the bottom of my heart, on my behalf and on behalf of the entire Zichron Menachem family.
The writer is the CEO and founder of Zichron Menachem.