We came across "What Happened when Mommy Got Cancer" a children's book written by Mathuin, a seven-year-old boy and son of Jocelyn Smith who went through breast cancer treatment. We took a few minutes to talk with the illustrator of this book, Ranya Ghazaly, who tackling such a sensitive matter to work on this special children's book developed some invaluable insight to approaching the subject of cancer.
Posts tagged ‘Lebanon’
As of October 1st, we've introduced a new daily post series of awareness tips that we'll be sharing via our facebook page for the entire month. They're all small things that won't require much time or effort but will help you learn in small doses more about breast health, early detection signs and other activities you can do to support the cause.
We all know the general benefits of moving and shaking our booties (so-to-speak), but how many of you consider dancing a form of therapy? Whether you're conscious of this while you're doing it or not, dancing has numerous benefits that can (in some cases) outweigh a visit to your shrink - and it's certainly a more fun and cost-effective way to feel better about yourself!
Experienced nutritionist working with cancer patients, Diane Nicolas, shares her invaluable insight on how nutrition relates to patients' health. Read our interview with her addressing several common misconceptions regarding certain foods' relationship to cancer here:
“They share with us their story. We share with them their worry.”
Staff Member at Eve by Karkafi (Zalka Branch)
Karkafi Group was established in 1968 primarily as a retail specialist of wigs. As styling trends evolved, so did their products and service offerings. They now serve as the leading retailer of wigs, hair extensions (clips, fixed or removable) and other hair accessories in the Middle East with branches in Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Syria, Sudan, Qatar and the UAE.
What drew our attention to their wig boutique, Eve by Karkafi, was that many breast cancer patients inLebanon visit them prior to or during their chemotherapy treatment. During our meeting with Maggie Keshishian, Karkafi Group’s Marketing Executive, we learned that on average they have at least one new breast cancer patient visiting each day in addition to 2 to 3 women who come daily for general wig maintenance. “Unfortunately, lately there are many more cases of breast cancer inLebanon.. We get a lot of visits.. There are even children that come to get fitted” adds Maggie.
Alongside customized styling for wigs, Eve by Karkafi manufacture their own wigs and utilize fine mono fiber for the scalp area to give a more natural look. Wigs on average cost around $300, but breast cancer patients receive a special discount as well as a complimentary wig stand and a small gift (such as a comb or mirror).
Breast cancer patients, in general, are advised to go for 100% natural wigs (made from human hair) as opposed to synthetic ones as they last longer and are more versatile for styling. Maggie adds that “The wig needs to ideally be “her”.. She shouldn’t feel like she’s wearing anything and feel comfortable in her own skin.. Natural wigs definitely offer more options. They can be blow-dried, straightened, dyed and styled on demand for a special occasion for example.”
For any woman in this condition, choosing a wig can in and of itself be a very difficult experience. “A woman who’s undergoing treatment is emotionally distressed.. We do our best to replicate her wig in the exact style she had naturally so she doesn’t feel a difference.. This is one the best ways we can help them. Few women will make a drastic change in their look during this phase.. Our staff also give them lots of hope and share stories of other customers who had overcome the disease” Maggie shared. Some survivors additionally donate their wigs to NGOs through their store so that other women may also benefit from them.
To make the transition easier for new patients, the stylists at Eve by Karkafi also offer to cut the woman’s hair which, firstly, reduces the shock they may encounter once their hair starts to shed and, secondly, allows the wig fit better. The experience is made even more personal through various private rooms set aside for such occasions. Each styling booth also comes with curtains that can be sealed based on the customer’s preferences. That allows the woman to feel more comfortable in trying and finding the right wig.
What’s the true secret behind Eve by Karkafi, besides their unlimited assortment of wigs? It’s the staff. Good-humored and ready to help, they also have a tremendous responsibility to make their customers feel at ease especially if they’re going through such a drastic transition. “When she finally finds the right wig, she gets emotional and it’s our job to make her feel better.” shared a staff member who showed us around.
Below we’ve included a few quick tips on this topic that were shared to us during this visit:
How to Select the Best Wig for You:
- Choose your wig before you start chemotherapy that way you’ll have it ready when you really need it. It’s much harder to go through this process once your hair starts falling and you might not be feeling as well.
- Bring a picture of yourself with your hair at its best. Your wig specialist will have something to base the styling on so it comes out as close as possible to your natural hairstyle.
- Go for a wig that looks the most natural for you and makes you feel comfortable. Avoid drastic changes that you might regret later on or feel constrained by.
How to Take Care of Your Wig:
- Comb it on a regular basis to avoid tangling.
- Eve by Karkafi recommend you take it to your wig specialist every two weeks for cleaning and general maintenance
- Put your wig on a wig stand instead to preserve its style. It’ll last a lot longer if you take care of it.
For additional information on wig stores in the Middle East, check out our regularly updated directory here.
Laughter Yoga has become a household concept in Lebanon as more people are trying out this new, and might we add very enjoyable, form of stress-relief. Nothing beats laughing your cares away and, as highlighted in this interview with Laughter Yoga’s leading practitioner Sabine Jizi, it also has many health benefits we may not be aware of.
But how does Laughter Yoga benefit One Wig Stand’s key demographic: women diagnosed with or undergoing breast cancer treatment? Find out more in this special one-on-one interview with Sabine as she shares her insight with us:
1. Laughter Yoga is a new practice here in Lebanon, growing quickly in popularity. What are the main benefits of this form of yoga?
Laughter Yoga is not the typical kind of yoga we usually hear about. It is a unique concept whereby anyone can laugh for no reason. It is based on laughter and breathing exercises practiced in a group that allows people to laugh without relying on humor, jokes or comedy.
Of course, this kind of yoga has many health benefits:
- Laughter releases endorphins, giving us the “feel good” factor.
- Acts as aerobic exercise and is like “internal jogging”; 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equivalent to a 30-minute treadmill workout
- Unleashes inhibitions and breaks down barriers. It helps us deal with challenging situations in a more positive way.
- Great team-building tool, which encourages better communication.
- Helps boost our immune system which helps us resist disease.
- Tones muscles, improves respiration and circulation.
- Encourages positive thinking and creativity.
- Blood and all major organs are fully oxygenated, leaving us bursting with energy.
- Promotes cardiovascular health.
- Depression is lifted. Even chronic depression is often cured.
- People who laugh don’t worry as much as people who don’t laugh and, as such, enjoy life more.
- And lastly, laughter makes us feel good because it defuses three of the most painful emotions (fear, anger and boredom) by releasing them.
2. Yoga is recommended as a recovery therapy for women undergoing breast cancer treatment. Have you ever tried the Laughter Yoga practice with breast cancer patients? Please tell us a bit about that experience.
I haven’t held a session for women undergoing breast cancer treatment yet, but I did have the chance to meet a few incredible, powerful women during my certification training in Germany. I was astonished by what laughter had done for them, helping them undergo the treatment in so many different ways.
3. How does Laughter Yoga in particular benefit these women and how did they react to it?
Laughter Yoga is not a replacement for medical treatment, however, it does accelerate the treatment process and helps ease the pain. Laughter was like a free pill for the women I met in Germany; it helped them accept and embrace their situation, and love themselves – no matter how difficult their treatment was.
Laughter Yoga lifted their depression, helped them release their painful emotions and replace them with the “feel good” hormones (Endorphins). It also encouraged them to think positively and helped them deal with their challenging situation in a much more constructive way. It was also a great way for those women to interact together and help each other beat the disease.
It was also a great team-building exercise for them. They felt like they were part of the same team, supporting each other during this period. It certainly helped boost their immune system which accelerated the healing process. Laughter is the best medicine!
4. In your opinion, at what point during or after breast cancer treatment is it advisable to practice Laughter Yoga (or any other form of yoga)?
In my opinion, because laughter offers everybody great health benefits, women diagnosed with breast cancer should definitely practice laughter yoga during their treatment. It helps them in so many ways – even if they were not in the mood to laugh, feel positive or be happy.
The concept of Laughter Yoga is in fact based on a scientific study that says that the human body cannot differentiate between a real laugh or a fake laugh; so either way, one is likely to get the same positive health benefits.
Laughter Yoga becomes a way of thinking and living, and these women can apply it within their lives, after breast cancer, and spread it along within their own surroundings. Laughter is highly contagious!
5. Are there any questions a cancer patient should consult their doctor about before starting Laughter Yoga or can anyone do it regardless of medical conditions?
Usually, anybody can practice Laughter Yoga, but I always encourage people who have a certain medical condition to refer to their doctors first just to be on the safe side – but doctors have never restricted it.
6. Do you plan on doing more sessions for breast cancer patients here in Lebanon in the future?
I’m actually very much looking forward to holding sessions and working with women with breast cancer. I feel like I have so much to offer and teach them. Laughter Yoga will, without a doubt, help them emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s definitely a project I have been thinking about for a while now, hoping to do it in the near future.
We’d like to thank Sabine for taking the time to do this interview with us and sharing her invaluable input on this interesting, new form of yoga. We recommend anyone reading this to give Laughter Yoga a try and giggle their way to a healthier recovery and lifestyle.
Poly, a talented singer and songwriter making a huge bang in the Lebanese music scene, knows how to stand out. Besides her vivacious stage presence, you’ll seldom catch her without one of her funky wigs – even on a regular day when she’s not performing.
One Wig Stand took a few minutes from Poly’s busy schedule to conduct this small one-on-one interview to get to know her (and her wigs, of course) a little bit better:
1. What’s with all the wigs? Tell us about your obsession with wearing them.
First off, I want to say that my wigs are not natural.
For me the point of wearing a wig is not about trying to make people believe that I have natural, colorful, awesome, funky hair – I wear them literally because I can. I used to get bored with my hairstyles very easily. I think having braids was the only hairstyle that took months for me to get over, so instead of messing up my hair every week with new colors and cuts, I figured, why not wear wigs? That way I can change colors and cuts whenever I want.
My wigs are an expression of my moods or what I’m feeling that day.
That’s why I’m called Poly; I have different sides of me and I have a wig for each of those sides! The wig world is a limitless one.
2. When did you first start wearing wigs?
Less than a year ago when I took out my braids.
3. How many wigs do you currently own?
Around 25, but I don’t always use all of them..
4. How do you choose which wig to wear during your performances?
To be honest, I rarely plan ahead when it comes to what I’m wearing, including the wig I’ll be wearing, which is something that really annoys my designer Farah Hourani! But I just want the way I look on stage to completely express the way I’m feeling that day (or week) so we usually grab a bunch of outfits and wigs and then we mix-and-match them backstage before the concert!
5. Where do you purchase or get your wigs from?
I get my wigs from Hair & More in Sin El-Fil but I always find a way to recreate them or cut them. My friend, and co-songwriter, Carl Ferneine once decided to play around with my purple ponytail and made it into my fauxhawk.
6. How do you take care of the wigs?
I brush and wash them, but I don’t take care of them nearly as much as I should..
7. Do you have a wig stand?
Yes I do! Waking up next to plastic heads wasn’t very pleasant in the beginning so I had to move all my wigs and heads to what we now call “The Wig Room”.
8. How do others respond to your wearing wigs?
Mostly I get people asking me if the wig is natural or not, and my typical answer is “It never is.. “ Or I’ll get people asking me why I’m wearing wigs and where I get them from. The intense staring never gets old of course, but that doesn’t stop me from experimenting with my wigs and fashion.
9. Do you wear them on a daily basis outside of your performances or public appearances? If so, please share why.
I wear my wigs whenever I feel like it – which is 80% of the time. It’s not just for entertainment purposes. For me, it’s like wearing a funky hat, or an accessory. I love my natural brown curly hair but I just get bored.
And basically, why not?
10. Have you met others who wear wigs for other reasons (such as breast cancer patients) and can you now tell when someone is wearing a wig?
I actually haven’t met anyone in person that wears wigs (for any reason), but yes, sometimes I can tell when someone is wearing a wig.
Don’t let all the wigs intimidate you – Poly’s one of the sweetest performers you’ll ever meet. Not only is Poly a singer and fashionista, but she’s a passionate human rights activist who supports causes close to heart. Who knows? Perhaps our unified obsession with wigs might bring forth an interesting collaboration for breast cancer awareness with the up-and-rising star in the future!
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You’ve been to a ton of Christmas bazaars over the years and nothing much changes each time – lots of clutter, lots of the same. How about this year you try something different?
Let us ask you this: Have you ever been to a Christmas Bra-zaar? No? Well, you’re in for a unique Christmas event taking place on December 21 and 22, 2011 at One Wig Stand’s space in Achrafieh.
Also, for those who’ve been following the Bras for a Cause Middle East campaign for the past few months and haven’t had the chance to grab your favorite bras from the “Look Good, Feel Good” Collection – then you don’t want to miss this night. The Collection itself will only be on sale at regional outlets until the end of the year, but we still have plenty of sizes and bra styles waiting for you at the Bazaar. Why not give a gift to your friend, mother or sister with a special message? The bras were designed specially for the Bras for a Cause campaign and features the creative talent of regional designers all united for one cause.
In case you didn’t have a chance to grab your favorite bra (or couldn’t find your size) from the “Look Good, Feel Good” Collection by Bras for a Cause Middle East at the regional outlets – we have a special night in store!
The Collection will only be on sale until the end of the year, but we still have plenty of sizes and bra styles waiting for you! Why not give a gift to your friend, mother or sister with a special message?
The bras were designed specially for the Bras for a Cause campaign and features the creative talent of regional designers all united for one cause.
BRA PRICES AND SIZES:
Bra prices are very affordable and range between $18-30. Various sizes available for B to D cups.
K-Lynn Lingerie Specialist Tiffany Karam Youssef will be available at the event to help with bra fittings for anyone interested to get the right size and suggestions for the optimal bra for your body.
Full proceeds of all bra sales will be donated to regional breast cancer organizations as part of the large-scale campaign organized by One Wig Stand and Fustany.com Find out more about the Bras for a Cause Middle East campaign:www.brasforacause.me
We’ll also be selling mastectomy bras if you know someone who needs one. Trust us, they’ll love the sexy designs with comfortable and discreet prosthesis pockets.
DATES & TIMES:
Wednesday Dec. 21: 3-9 pm
Thursday Dec. 22: 3-9 pm
Pass by any time – it’ll be open house. We’ll have a fitting room area for anyone who wants to try the bras before purchasing.
WHERE’S IT HAPPENING?
One Wig Stand’s space in Achrafieh, Lebanon, right next to ABC Ashrafieh if you’re driving up from Spinneys. Very easy to find.
Feel free to call us on 01-203112 for additional directions.
VOLUNTEERS AND COLLABORATIONS
Wanna help out? Have some creative ideas to make this an even more fun, memorable night? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ESMOD: International Fashion Education Group
LBC: Helwi Beirut
Facebook Event: Christmas Bra-zaar! (Ladies Only)
Spread the word to all your girlfriends and see you on the 22nd!