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Students donate hair for cancer patients

The Pan Hellenic Society in Silliman University gave free haircuts for students who were willing to donate their hair to cancer patients and survivors in a project last Aug. 22-24 at their Hibalag booth.

“Lose Hair to Raise Care” is a three-day project aimed to show support for cancer patients and survivors who lose their hair in the process of chemotherapy.

Aira Trespeces, a member of Pan Hellenic Society and organizer of the event, said that the hair will either be made into wigs or practice materials for the wig makers.

For female students with natural hair, a required length of at least 12 inches must be donated to make a wig out of their hair. In the process of wig making, 1-3 inches will be cut off.

For students with hair treated with chemicals like hair dye, the minimum length was 10 inches because these will be used by wig makers to practice making wigs.

There is no hair length requirement for male students. They can shave their head or go bald to show support for cancer patients and survivors.

Trespeces said that the hair donated by students will be sent to the Donate your Hair Today-Cuts against Cancer organization based in Manila. Volunteers from the organization will make the wigs and use the other donated hair to practice wig making.

According to Trespeces, she thought about doing the activity because she noticed that activities for cancer patients are not usually done in Dumaguete.

Meco Bacal, the president of the Pan Hellenic Society, was the only male student who was able to shave his entire head for the project. As an organizer, he said that he felt like he had the responsibility of taking the first step, so others could follow.

Bacal admitted that when Trespeces first proposed the project, he had some doubts, but he continued to support the project.

“I never really thought that I would be one of the people who would be willing to change my appearance for [cancer patients and survivors]. I don’t regret it,” said Bacal.

Meanwhile, when first year accountancy student Hyacinth Mamhot first heard about the project, she immediately decided to donate 12 inches of her hair without any hesitation.

Mamhot was one of the 10 female students who donated their hair.

Mamhot was inspired by her mother, who passed away last February due to lung cancer. She has been looking for ways to help cancer patients ever since.

“It might not be that big of a help, but at least it’s something that would somehow lessen their sadness. I thought that this simple sacrifice is something that my mom would be proud of,” said Mamhot.

Trespeces said that students who donated will be given certificates. Donateyourhair.org, the official website of Cuts against Cancer, will also give them certificates online.

Cuttin’ Loose, Marirose, and Kayle Trese were the salons and barbershop that sponsored the project.

By Jameela Antoniette I. Mendoza

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