Dylan, a New Jersey resident, was only six-and-half-year old when he saw the neighbour's daughter donate her long beautiful hair for a wig to help victims of hair loss. It got Dylan thinking. A couple of weeks later he asked about the reasons for hair loss and decided for himself that "it's the worst thing to lose hair to cancer". When he voiced his desire to grow his hair and donate it, his mother didn't think much about it. Now eight years old, Dylan has grown his hair four inches long, but he intends to grow it to 10 inches.
My chance meeting with Dylan in India inspired me to start a campaign here in Dubai to help cancer victims with hair loss. As the founder of the Protect Your Mom campaign, I decided to collaborate with volunteers in Dubai to launch Hair for Hope. Protect Your Mom is a Facebook campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer.
We launched the Hair for Hope campaign on October 29 and we've had 48 people, young and old, donate their locks for cancer patients. The donated hair will be sent to Beautiful Lengths to make wigs for cancer patients. Initiatives, such as Beautiful Lengths, support patients by making wigs from real hair and to date they have made and given 18,000 wigs for women and children undergoing chemotherapy. Because wigs made from human hair are very expensive to produce and many patients can't afford them, these wonderful wigs are high in demand. Dylan's mother Maya was concerned when other children started to tease him about his ‘girly long hair'. She tried to tell him that there were other ways to help, but he's determined to stick to his plan. Maya can see how this experience is benefiting him. She said that when they gather in prayer, Dylan's prayers are mostly for suffering children and sick people.
Dylan was thrilled to learn about Hair for Hope in Dubai and that "48 more people will have hair!"
Anybody can serve as a hair factory for cancer patients who desperately need help, but only a few people think of taking part in such amazing initiatives. This young boy has silently set off a great movement and inspired people he hasn't even met here in Dubai!
For any volunteers interested, please visit the Facebook pages for Hair for Hope and Protect Your Mom.
— This reader is based in Dubai.