More than 400 Donors Make the Cut!

On Sunday October 19th, the central galleria at City Centre Beirut was a-buzz with crowds of people who had come from across Lebanon for one unified mission: to make the cut and donate their hair for women fighting cancer. Women, children, and even men, lined up for this opportunity to donate 20 centimeters (and the majority more!) of their hair at the hands of twelve talented stylists who were offering free cuts and styling on this special occasion.

Photo by Nareg D.B.

Photo by Nareg D.B.

In its second year, and following the wide success of its first edition, Make the Cut is a patient support initiative developed by One Wig Stand, and held in collaboration with L’Oreal Professionnel, to collect hair donations from the public in order to be able to make wigs for Lebanese women fighting cancer. Through the hair donations received, the organization is able to provide wigs to any patient in need (free-of-charge) to help them cope better with the dreaded side effects of chemotherapy and boost their self-image as they recover.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Adding a special touch: Pink ribbons were painted on donors’ nails by Essie – Photo by: Nareg D.B.

This special Make the Cut hair donation event, coinciding with the international breast cancer month, exceeded all expectations with more than 400 donors making the cut in one afternoon, including the renowned actress Marcelle Marina. Other memorable highlights of the day include two brave little girls from the Bekaa Valley who boldly shaved their hair off to shed added awareness to what patients go through when they lose their hair.

MTC2event_charly02

Renowned actress Marcelle Marina makes the cut with stylist Souheil Haber – Photo by: Charly Hatem

MTC2event_charly04

One of the little girls that boldly shaved her head at the event to support patients – Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Alongside everyone who came to cut their hair that day, the mall was full of those who also had come to show their support for the cause and witness the bold transformations, encouragingly cheering and clapping from the sidelines. Donors were additionally treated to a commemorative certificate for their contribution and a goody bag with valuable gifts from L’Oreal Professionnel, Kellogg’s and Essie.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

The busy, yet extremely rewarding, day was marked with fresh new looks at the hands of stylists who worked non-stop to ensure donors left with big smiles on their faces, bringing the final tally of the day to approximately 530 ponytails (including previously-cut donations that were also dropped off at the venue). This number should translate into at least 65 wigs at the average production rate of 6 to 8 ponytails per wig, which the organization will be coordinating with Hair & More to manufacture into wigs for any patient in need.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Charly Hatem

View more photos from the event: Album #1 and Album #2.

Event Sponsors: City Centre Beirut, DIGIPrint, Essie, Hair & More, Kellogg’s Special K, Merlun Group, RTB Productions, Sakr Printing and Teleperformance.

Event Hair Stylists: Bare’, Georges Nakhle, Gilbert Irany, Jackyo, Joseph el-Haber, Juliano Asmar, Pace e Luce, Peter Abou Jaoude, Souheil Haber, Tony Obeid, Wissam Lebbous and Younes Eid.

For more information about Make the Cut, please visit: www.onewigstand.org/makethecut and www.facebook.com/makethecutcampaign

To inquire about a wig for a patient in need, please contact us on 79-158471 or 01-203112.

Advertisements

Take the Pledge!

OCTOBER is the international Breast Cancer Awareness month and what better way to show your support for women fighting cancer than by donating from your own hair to help them cope better with the harsh side effects of chemotherapy? 

One Wig Stand in collaboration with L’Oreal Professionnel are organizing a special hair donation event at City Centre Beirut, teaming up with top L’Oreal hair stylists for an afternoon of free cuts and styling for all who wish to donate.

We have some special surprises also planned for all who make the cut that day. Feel free to spread the word to friends and family who may be interested!

If you’ve made the cut recently and want to drop off your hair donation that day, please do!

MTC2_owsblog_graphicEVENT DETAILS
Date: Sunday, October 19, 2014
Venue: City Centre Beirut – Galleria Level (L0)
Time: 2pm – 8pm
To book your spot, call us on: 79-158471
Please come with pre-washed hair.

EVENT SPONSORS
City Centre Beirut
DIGIPrint
Essie
Hair & More
Kellogg’s Special K
Merlun Group
RTB: Ready to Broadcast
Sakr Printing
Teleperformance

HAIR DONATION GUIDELINES
Minimum Length: 20 cm
Type of Hair: Wavy or curly hair is completely acceptable so long as it is in good condition (not dried out or damaged).
Colored Hair: Even if your hair is colored and/or with highlights, it might still be used unless it has been bleached. Bleached hair is more apt to break during the wig-making process, and as such, preferably avoided.
Grey Hair: No more than 5% grey please as grey hair becomes fragile during processing and may not absorb color as well.

MAKE THE PLEDGE!
How many centimeters are you planning to donate? Select the number of centimeters from this album and post it on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to represent your goal. This is a great encouragement for friends and family to also take part!

MTC2_pledgebadge20

For more information and donation guidelines, please visit: www.onewigstand.org/makethecut 

If you are or know a cancer patient in need of a wig for her treatment, we are here to help. Contact us on 79-158471 or info@onewigstand.org to set a meeting and find the right match.

Lara’s Story: Two Years Later

We first interviewed Lara two years ago but even with the time that’s passed since, her story continues to inspire until today – as has been proven with the tremendous response her post has garnered in the past week when we re-shared the original post. And it comes at a perfectly-fitting time with breast cancer month in full swing and the need for the right awareness ever-present. Nothing gets the message across better than hearing it from someone who has not only fought but beat cancer because of early detection.

For those of you who have been closely following Lara’s story and are wondering how she’s doing today, we did the following interview to share with you the latest chapter in her ever-inspiring story. Life may be going one way once you’ve just completed treatment, but how much (or little) do things change when one year, two years, or more have passed?

To get more insight on this subject, we posed a few questions to this very inspirational survivor and here’s what she had to say:

1. In our first interview, you introduced yourself as Lara, the “twenty-seven-year-old breast cancer survivor”. How has this introduction evolved since and how do you introduce yourself today?

I was chatting with a friend of mine last week about someone who recently got diagnosed with breast cancer – and for a moment I had completely forgotten that I had undergone the same thing!

I think our mind is programmed in a way to keep us going without looking behind – except when we purposely choose to.

2. Has the experience left any physical scars?

I have a couple but they are barely noticeable thanks to my genius doctor, whom I love!

Other than that, does a tattoo count?

I was once labeled as a girl who had cancer. Now, I am labeled as a survivor – literally.

Lara's tattoo

3. More than 5K views and 1.6K likes later: your post on our website has undoubtedly reached a wide audience and touched many. How did people, in general, react to your story (especially those who didn’t know it before) and are there any notable responses that were shared as a result of the post?

I’ve received lots of messages from friends and random people admiring my courage and stating I was an inspiration; all of which delighted me. However, my aim is to raise awareness and encourage women to get examined. I guess I’ll never know for sure whether they’re doing it or not, but I’d like to think they are.

4. How would you describe life post-cancer? Any self-discoveries along the way since our last chat?

In the previous interview two years ago, I had mentioned how I am still very much the same person: still the same friends and still enjoying the same things in life. This still stands. And all those stories you hear or read about how someone had completely metamorphosed are either fictional or perhaps I am just odd. I hope it isn’t the latter!

I must say, though, that today my appetite towards discovering new things has definitely multiplied; simple pleasures can make me euphoric.

Oh – and one thing that has constantly been changing in the past three years is my hairstyle.

LaraTwoYearsLater-Photo02E

5. Speaking of which: has your hair grown back to the way it used to be before chemotherapy? What’s happened to your wig since?

When I had very long hair, I used to threaten hairdressers not to cut more than a centimeter or so. Now I can’t stay away from my adored hairdresser for more than a month.

Only recently have I been growing it back a little but every time I come across a woman with short hair, my heart goes “boom!”: it’s bold, it’s got attitude – it’s different.

Concerning my wig, it’s in the same place it has been since my bald days: deep down in the closet – speaking of which, I’d like to donate it to a cancer patient who will actually wear it!

6. We can’t help but smile each time we look at your “Finish Line” photograph in our previous interview. Do you do anything special to celebrate each year since completing your treatment?

The ultimate celebration will happen once they find a cure. There are so many women out there fighting breast cancer, so we haven’t won the war yet. However, we’re winning many battles thanks to early detection.

I’d like to quote my dear brother here:

“Every milestone is a celebration. Every survivor is a celebration of life. It springs hope in people and inspires them to remain positive and be mentally ready to challenge and beat cancer. We always have to celebrate our small wins in everything we do. This leads the path to bigger celebration – which in this case is cure.”

7. One of the biggest fears women who’ve undergone cancer treatment share is a fear of recurrence. Does that fear diminish as the years pass and what are your particular thoughts on this?

I don’t really think about it unless I’m prompted. There’s no point in living in anxiety and fear of something that’s uncertain: it just drains all your energy and for nothing! This applies to everything in life, not just health.

Hopefully it will never come back, but if it does, I now know the drill and I will do my utmost best to kick its ass the same way I did before.. if not stronger!

8. What does the month of October mean to you as a survivor?

I love it when in October I see random people wearing the pink ribbon, shops changing their window display to pink or nail bars promoting their pink range. It’s just so cool!

But at the same time, I hope awareness is being raised through all of this and that it’s not just for show. I also hope that awareness is not just brought up during this particular month but rather continued all year long.

LaraTwoYearsLater-03

9. Is there any advice you’d like to share with other women reading this?

For starters, stop postponing your routine medical check-ups.

Yes, we all dislike wasting those two hours at the doctor’s waiting area but what are two hours compared to hundreds of hours spent in chemotherapy sessions, radiation therapy, surgery, bed rest.. You get the picture.

Even more so: those two hours could extend someone’s lifetime so please go waste them – and with a smile.

And take your mama with ya!

10. We would like to end our interview with a similar question to that with which we closed our first interview: What kind of breast cancer work and/or awareness would you like to see more of in the region?

Currently, most awareness campaigns are targeted towards women above a certain age. They are often lunches for socialites where large donations are expected, where awareness is disseminated in an old-fashioned way, etc. So what I’d love to witness is more striking campaigns and events targeting the younger generation who seem to believe they are not at risk.

Ideally, awareness campaigns that are able to convert into results whereby each and every woman gets a check-up and help us really fight the war against breast cancer.

So whomever wants to join forces, please raise your hand!

LaraTwoYearsLater-04* All photographs in this interview are provided courtesy of Lara.

Little BIG Things You Can Do This October

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 show your support for the cause.

Try to put them to practice whenever possible this month:

Thanks to the help of our team of wonderful volunteers, we’ll also be sharing the daily posts in Arabic so more women from the region can benefit from them too:

Arabic Translation: Samira El-Ghoul

Arabic Translation: Nesrine Chami

Arabic Translation: Soha Menassa

Be sure to check our page daily this month and share the ones you find particularly valuable with others to spread the awareness. If you have any recommendations for other “Little Big Things” someone can do during October, let us know by email to info@onewigstand.org.

The Pink Ribbon Phenomenon

“This October has a whole new meaning for me. October, as many of you know is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and up until 2011, it has had much less of an impact on me. I have always been a fan of pink but I am certainly more conscious of it now. Wearing my pink wig to chemo meant I was a supporter of all women (and men) going through breast cancer but it also represented me kicking cancer’s ass. Now, when I see someone wearing a pink ribbon, I feel supported or feel like I have some connection with that person because he or she has felt the effects, whether it was directly or indirectly, of breast cancer.” – Katie from The Bald & The Beautiful

We came across Katie’s recent post and had to share it. As October comes to close, it’s also a time to reflect about what all the pink ribbons and awareness campaigns are about. Why are we wearing pink and what drives everyone to support this cause? Is it a trend? Are we truly conscious of who the companies behind the campaigns are helping and why? Some food for thought as you put on a pink ribbon this month and make sure your doing it for the right reasons above all.

We highly recommend you read Katie’s (one of our newest favorite bloggers) latest post Pinktober where she goes more in-depth about the topic and how the pink ribbon phenomenon is affecting her as a survivor:

Some think that the pink ribbon has taken away from the severity of it all, that being represented by a cute little, pink, perfect ribbon doesn’t represent breast cancer properly or the way it should. Wrapping breast cancer up in a pink ribbon can give the impression that it’s not as severe as other cancers.. The pink ribbon has a whole new significance to me but the way I see it; we need to educate the general public about the consumerism of the pink ribbon, the importance of knowing how your donation is being allocated and the true meaning of awareness.” – Katie

We couldn’t agree more. Thank you Katie for sharing your insight on the topic. For anyone reading this, we’d love to hear your thoughts too on “Pinktober” and how this month has affected you.

**

We’ll be posting Katie’s story soon on One Wig Stand. Keep posted!