[UPDATE: Two updates added below, one being another easy way you can get involved in hair donation.]
Gosh, I’m back at work today, and reminded that January is already in full swing despite the fact that I still have most of my Christmas décor still up. Loads has happened since my last post here, and at the pace that things are going right now, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to post a wrap up of it soon – maybe some time February..March(?) *eeep* However, what’s still fresh in my mind right now is this:
Yip, Morgan-Lee’s hair. That’s four- plus years of growth right there. Almost 80cm in length. And three days ago, it got the big chop!
A lot of people were gasping at just the thought of me even considering the chop – both strangers and loved ones. Even whilst I walked Morgan-Lee to the salon that day, we had no less than five people stop us to comment on her hair. All followed by shocked faces as I share with them where we headed that very moment. I mean, yes, I get it, there’s this short little beasty of mine, with sun-kissed chocolate locks that tumble and twirl to well below her bottom – yes, it was very long. But honestly, it’s not too much of a big deal – hair will grow again- and more importantly, it was for a good cause.
Inspired years ago by my niece, Yasmin, who out of her own choice, grew her gorgeous thick black hair to donate to Locks of Love. Now, those lovely locks of Morgy’s are destined for the CANSA offices to be used in making wigs for cancer patients who are in need of one.
The said-chop had been planned for some time already, but schedules just got in the way. Even right up onto Christmas eve, where I had to cancel her appointment because I realised I had to go into work that morning. I sat with a slightly disappointed Morgan-Lee that day – she had been looking forward to it all this time, excitedly telling everyone she’s going to “have short hair like Parky” (her baby sister). But lucky for us, Christmas (and Christmas eve) excitement far outweighed it in her concern-sweepstakes, thus totally saving the day from sad face.
I wanted to make a day of it – it only seemed right, as all she’s ever known really was long hair. (I mean, dude, she was freakin’ BORN with long hair- no kidding! With the whole Elvis quiff and everything.) So we made the appointment with the sweetest little children’s hair salon this side of the West Coast, Kidz & Cuts, at Eden on Big Bay, and couldn’t have been happier with our choice.
What a lovely pair of ladies, Lara and Mariska of Kidz & Cuts were. Their sweet and patient demeanour made Morgan-Lee’s first time ever at a salon an absolute pleasure. I would honestly recommend them to any parent who’s taking their child to have their hair cut – first time or not, but especially if it’s their first time. Those two ladies have a great way about them, and would know how to put any child at ease.
Morgy had her hair washed and blow dried completely to ensure the hair met the basic standards as set out by CANSA for hair donation.
It was braided, and as Mariska was set to snip, I realised this was it…I quickly jumped to snap it up, thinking this is my last chance…But as she discovered, Morgy’s hair is pretty thick (oh, how I covet!), and thus took several slow snips, layer by layer to get through her braid.
I may have had a surprise split second of heavy gulping right before she snipped, but when it was done, Morgan-Lee couldn’t have been more chuffed about it all.
My girl was such a champ about it all, I got to say. The appointment went well into naptime, and I could see her slouching, and her inability to keep too still for too long, but she pulled through the last bits of cutting straight and neatening up the lines. And then, well, it not more than a blimp on the radar for her, just a bit of getting used to the new short hair that kind of falls in your face all the time.
I’m super chuffed about the tiny contribution that can be made with such a simple act, and would like to encourage you, dear reader, to donate if possible.
To show you just how easy it would be or, if this simply sounds like something you’d like to get involved with, this is all you need to know:
1. Hair needs to be 25cm or more to donate. Hair may be treated, however, they cannot use dreadlocks.
2. Ensure that hair is washed and completely dry.
3. Bind both ends with an elastic band. Plaited hair tends to be easier to manage.
4. Place in a tuffy/ziplock bag which helps preserve the hair in its best condition while it makes its way to the wig manufacturers. Although, hair never really gets “old”, this is especially vital when posting it.
5. Package it with your contact details on(not fully necessary, but I would do it), stick ziplock into envelope and post it or drop it off at your local CANSA Care Centre. to find your local CANSA Care Centre, click here.
For more information check out their FAQ page here.
Once you’re ready to donate, you can drop it off either at their Mowbray Care centre, or through Look Good Feel Better at Partners Hair Design , Corner Riverstone and Cornwall Roads, Kenilworth, Cape Town (Grant Newman)
(For Look Good feel better, drops off can only be made on Fridays between 9am and 1pm. CANSA however, accepts all day [8am- 4pm], Mon-Fri.)
We’re actually headed that way today, to deliver the goods to the incredible folks of CANSA Care centre, 37A Main Road, Mowbray.
*Update1: Mike just reminded me that this care center was the very center that his Grandmother, Carol Porter (see here), voluteered about 30 years of her life towards the care of children with cancer. Ive heard countless stories of the incredible work she did there; everything from councillor, to carer to even taking in terminally ill children who had no place else to spend their last days. What immensely selfless work that she did there, and that so many beautiful souls out there continue to do to this day. Their work is beyond measure, and surely appreciated far more than anyone receiving it, could ever express. I could only imagine. It kind of, therefore, feels good for the soul that Carol’s GREAT granddaughter can then somehow, in some way, be connected to her work – even in this small manner. Hopefully it could be the start of a stream of consciousness for our little beast.
By the way, that’s where you can both donate towards wigs, as well as collect a wig if you’re in need. These wigs cost in excess of R2000, however CANSA care centers offer these wigs AT NO COST to those patients in need –donations are, however, always welcome. See, I told you these CANSA folks are incredible! 🙂
*Update2: Although, if you’d prefer to skip the whole drop off or post bit, then why not consider their well-known Shavathons? The lovely Juanine of the Mowbray CANSA care centre informed us that the next Shavathon is the 27 February 2016 at a mall near you! If you want to donate, or if you’re maybe a pro hair stylist and wish to volunteer your skills for the day, why not check it out!?
My dad was once a cancer patient with one of the most severe forms of stomach cancer, who by the way totally kicked cancer’s ass, took it’s coat and buried it forever (Whoopwhoop, go, Dad!). He had received both chemo therapy and radiation, but oddly was one of those few people who didn’t lose his hair. But if he did lose it, who knows, maybe it would have been some comfort to him, to know that he had options wrt hair. Whether he would haven chosen it or not. And I think that’s what we all appreciate in life, no matter how low it can sometimes get: the freedom of options.
So now, yes, she can no longer request any Elsa or Anna plaits, but she’s honestly not even phased by it. Beasty is really LOVING her short hair, and now even brushes her own hair! Can I get a “whoop-whoop“! And truth be told, no one is loving it more than Daddy – cause daddy does morning drills, and the hair is always the,err, sticking point. 🙂 But no more.
By the way, Ive tried to explain to her where her hair is going, and whilst she’s that chacracter who’s rather maternal and caring and always loves to help, she only kind of gets it. So I think alot more effort for her to understand it will be put in from our side as parents. Awareness can never be too young or too old.
Now if only my hair would grow at the pace that Morgy’s hair does.. 🙂