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Mother, daughter give hair to help others

Look ma, no hair. An excited Ashley Neels shows off her locks after making a hair donation to the Cancer Cancer Society thanks to the assistance of staff at the Country Cottage Hair Design Tuesday. - Angie Mindus photo
Look ma, no hair. An excited Ashley Neels shows off her locks after making a hair donation to the Cancer Cancer Society thanks to the assistance of staff at the Country Cottage Hair Design Tuesday.
— image credit: Angie Mindus photo

For Serena Neels and her six-year-old daughter Ashley, cutting more than eight inches each off their long hair Tuesday was the least they could do to help women struggling through cancer treatment.

“It’s so hard to watch someone go through the process and not be able to do anything,” Serena said from the hairdresser’s chair at Country Cottage Hair Design.

“This I feel I can contribute.”

Blessed with thick, healthy hair, the mother daughter duo donated more than 16 inches of hair which will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society to make wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

Serena has experienced first-hand the importance of a quality wig after being there through the struggles of her sister-in-law, Megan Fofonoff Huska, a wife and mother of one who lost her battle with breast cancer in December of 2012 after a two-and-a-half year fight. Serena and Ashley donated their hair in honour of her.

“She was only 31 when she passed away, which is what I am now, so it makes me think of her,” she said.

During Megan’s cancer treatment and the hair loss that followed, Serena said there was no comparison between a synthetic wig and one made with real hair. She also noticed other benefits of a beautiful wig.

“With breast cancer, you’re sick, you lose your breasts, then your hair. Having a wig gives you back some feeling of femininity. It made a big difference for Megan, and so now this (hair donation) will help other women.”

Serena and Ashley donated their hair through a hair drive offered this week, between May 19 and 23, as part of a partnership between Integrated Elements Wellness Clinic and Country Cottage Hair Design.

Country Cottage Hair Design staff have given free hair cuts for people willing to donate their locks, which could be any colour — natural or treated — even dreadlocks are welcome.

Hair stylist Tracy Fodchuk said cancer impacts many families, including her own, and she was happy to be part of the event.

“It’s a good cause.”

Though it may be too late to book an appointment, those interested in making a monetary donation can call Country Cottage at 250-398-7895, or the wellness clinic at 778-412-1441 to learn more about the program.

 

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