Express News Service
TIRUPATI: Hope becomes a mirage for those diagnosed with cancer and not many people have the strength to fight it back. They undergo physical and mental trauma during treatment — chemotherapy and radiation — that degrade a person’s self-esteem after they start losing their body and facial hair. 28-year-old Anil and 21-year-old Nadiya from Tirupati are actively volunteering for hair donations to provide free wigs to cancer patients.
Anil, a software engineer by trade, has been involved with several NGOs for the past four years to raise awareness about the critical role of hair donation for cancer patients. He works with The Cherian Foundation, a pediatric cancer NGO in Chennai, which supplies natural hair wigs to children undergoing cancer treatment in hospitals in India.
When asked what prompted him to volunteer for the job, Anil says: “One of my mother’s relatives developed breast cancer and her breast had to be removed during treatment. In recent years, many women have been diagnosed with cancer and although chemotherapy, radiation and powerful drugs kill the cancer cells, they eventually lose their hair. hospital bills. Also, it becomes difficult for them to get out of their homes without body and facial hair. By donating our hair, we can give the patients free hair wigs, which gives them hope,” says Anil.
He guides donors interested in hair donation through his Instagram page hair_donation_org. He partnered with Naturals Salon in Tirupati and bore the full cost of the donors’ haircuts. He has also partnered with Hair Crown, and through this NGO they have delivered haircuts at home to those donors who could not come to salons. For haircuts at home, volunteers are available in the towns of Tirupati, Nellore, Vijayawada and Kadapa, where they collect hair from the donors.
Nadiya, a third-year MBBS student at Sri Venkateswara Medical College, donated her hair for the first time in 2018. She donated her hair and sent it to Kerala through the Cope with Cancer organization for the cancer patients. Three years after growing her hair, she shaved her head again and donated it to cancer patients. “Children at a young age undergo chemotherapy and lose their hair without knowing what is happening to them. It’s sad to see them like this. So I donated my hair to them,” says Nadiya. Anil and Nadiya have collected hair from more than 200 donors and sent it to the NGOs to make wigs for cancer patients. They bear the costs of hair donation and provide certificates to the donors.