When kids go through chemotherapy they lose their hair from the medication prescriptions such as hexalen, paraplatin, platinol, and multiple others. These kids suffer so much already and they have to lose the one thing that helps them feel normal. Many people try to help these kids by donating their hair to a variety of charities. For example, ECHS senior, Hope Urdang, donated 12 inches of her hair to charity at the beginning of the school year.
Children With Hair Loss is a non-profit organization that provides free human hair replacements to kids going through a variety of treatments. With the help of hair donors and sponsors, the organization has been able to help so many kids. In 2018, the organization provided 541 children with hair replacement and care kits. Since 2000, Children With Hair Loss has been able to provide a total of 5000 kits for children in the midst of their treatments.
Even from a young age, Hope has had a deep calling to help others. Hope first donated her hair when she was in seventh grade. Her most recent time donating was actually her third time donating her hair to help these children in need. There are many different organizations that she could choose from, however, after reading a negative article about another organization she chose to start donating to Children With Hair Loss.
When asked if it felt different than a normal haircut she said, “It does. It makes me feel that I am helping another person with an act that some people feel is not that big of a deal because I know that my hair isn’t ending up just on the floor or the garbage. I know that someone is going to have it on their head and they are going to feel like they have hair again.”
The minimum length required in order to donate hair is eight inches. Hope, however, cut 12. Hope mentioned that she “technically donated 10 ½ inches but to get even I cut 12. I try to donate as much as I possibly can because people going through treatment even if it isn't for cancer, would want more in order to style it differently.” There are many different emotional, self rewards that come into play after the donation. Children With Hair Loss also adds a little more into the process by giving the donor a t-shirt as well as a certificate for the donation. To Hope, that seemed inconsequential compared to the emotional factor that the experience had on her.
Not only is the experience emotional to the patient but also to the donor. Without even knowing it, there is now going to be a connection between the patient and the donor just from an act as small as a haircut. According to American Hair Loss Association, Between ages 19 and birth, around 15,780 children are diagnosed with cancer; helping one at a time can still make a huge difference.