Letting her hair down: My Daughter's Hair Donation Story
My daughter Tashvi (14 years) has been familiar with the term 'organ donation' as she has been hearing this term ever since she was five years old. As I have been working for the cause of organ donation and transplantation, this has become a part of our casual conversations. She did not understand the intricacies of organ donation those days, but she understood the meaning of the word 'donation'. She knew that 'donation' is when you give something of yours to someone who needs it more than you need it.
One day, we were watching 'Dance India Dance' - a reality TV show, in which a participant performed as a child suffering from cancer, and lost his hair due to chemotherapy. To make him feel equal, the rest of the children in the class shaved their head. Tashvi asked me with the great innocence, “Mamma, how did this child become bald?”. I then explained to her about cancer, chemotherapy, and that one of the side effects of the treatment procedure was hair loss.
Since I was aware of the hair donation, I just asked her whether she would agree to donate her hair to a needy and she agreed instantly. Tashvi studies in Amrita Vidyalayam where donation to the underprivileged is encouraged by the students, especially on special days like birthdays. So, in 2017, on Tashvi's birthday which was on January 01, we decided to take her for her hair donation. We went to the salon and the scissors started snipping and within a few minutes, 16 inches of hair were gone. I was in full praise of Tashvi for the large-hearted gesture of hers. Her spontaneous donation made me feel happy and every time I touched her hair, I would think of a happy girl wearing a wig made of my daughter's hair – the thought always brings a smile to my face.
When Tashvi's hair grew again, she asked me “Mamma, can we donate again?”. However, this time she wanted to donate on a regular day because she felt that if the time of someone's need is not fixed, then how can the donation time be set. On February 06, 2022, my little big girl donated her hair again for the second time.
If you too wish to make someone smile with your precious hair, then here is how you can donate your hair:
- Hair needs to be clean and dry and placed in a braid or ponytail before it is cut.
- Your ponytail or braid needs to be a certain length to be accepted
- Curly hair can be pulled straight to make the measurement. Requirements usually range above 12 inches.
- Ensure that your hair is perfectly secured with rubber band and cut your hair just above the rubber band.
- Now securely put the cut ponytails in a zip-lock bag and put it in a mailing envelope.
- Ship it to your chosen NGO's address and within about 15-20 days you will be receiving a receipt of acknowledgment and an e-certificate.
That's it, your precious hair will now add a new ray of happiness in someone's life. We have been making hair donation at Cope with Cancer, Madat Trust based in Mumbai, which also has a Help Desk at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
Make a hair donation and like Tashvi, you will never have a bad hair day.
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- Keywords: Sukhvinder Lal, Hair Donation, Manipal Organ Sharing & Transplant, HCMCT Manipal