Camilla learned of the action through a friend's social media and decided to donate her hair. The cut was made by hairdresser Ivis Silva [Photo Credit: Renata Paes]

General Conference

Women take care of their health and help others to recover their self-esteem

Volunteers donate hair to make wigs for women facing the effects of cancer treatment

Brazil | Renata Paes

W hen looking at her social networks, Camilla Cristina Moreno Camargos, 24, saw the smile, joy, and emotion of a child with cancer when receiving a wig. That video touched her heart, as she was already thinking about donating her hair but was reluctant due to her emotional attachment to it.
During a social event promoted by the Ministry of Women of the Adventist Church in Belo Horizonte and the NGO Fio de Luz, Camilla took the opportunity to cut and donate her hair with the hope of multiplying smiles and happiness in women facing cancer.

In addition to her, other women appeared. Claudia Claudino Correia wept with emotion while hairdresser Ivis Silva performed the cut. For the professional, who has worked as a hairdresser for 11 years, gestures like this are always special.

“It is my passion to do this for them,” she says. “It is very exciting to be able to participate in an act of love that extends to another. It's a donation! Here the issue is not the hair itself, but the detachment from it, so that something extraordinary happens, which is to help someone else.”

Beatriz Reis, 38, was walking along Lagoa da Pampulha, near Marco Zero, when she saw the project and decided to stop and donate. She had already cut her hair, which was stored in the car.

During the event there was also the delivery of wigs for cancer patients. It was enough to present the medical report and the wig was delivered. Claudilene Moura was one of the beneficiaries.

“I feel like a queen,” she said. “New hair, makeup; I am very happy and I feel powerful. Thank you very much.”

The volunteer from the NGO Fio de Luz, Shirley Cristina, has seen many women receive wigs. She says that this moment signifies a total change in the life of the cancer patient.

“You can see how different the woman is. Her physiognomy totally changes, the gleam in the eyes; in addition, at the NGO we also provide support, words of comfort, hugs and all this helps a lot,” she emphasizes.

The entity already gives more than 3,500 wigs, is present in 30 cancer centers located in the States of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Distrito Federal, and Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.). In Belo Horizonte, the non-profit institution has a factory for making wigs with the capacity to produce 400 of them per month.

Anyone can help in this cause that seeks to rescue women's self-esteem and confidence. For this, only two requirements are enough: the donated hair lock needs to be at least 20 centimeters (8 inches), and the person donating must have a desire to help another woman. Colored or natural hair can also be donated.

Edmilson Marques, a member of the Adventist church of Céu Azul, is the founder of Fio de Luz. The project was born when, after opening a wig store, it was visited by a young woman who had lost her hair due to chemotherapy. The girl had no money to buy a wig. He felt touched and decided to donate to the youth.

“She called me to say that after she got the wig, her life had changed. She also said that she didn't even seem to be sick,” Edimilson recalls with emotion.

During the event there was also an exhibition of photos of women who received the wigs and how they looked before and after. Blood glucose and blood glucose measurement services, guidance on breast self-exams, and delivery of booklets and health materials were also offered.

Virtual Race 

Four sisters came together to take care of their health through a virtual race. Maria Jose Chaves, 61, Ruth Almeida, 49, Miriã Almeida, 42, and Rosália Almeida, 39, entered the SuperAção Race, promoted across the southeastern region of the country. About 1,700 women participated, 700 of them in Minas alone.

Because it is a virtual race due to the pandemic, the registered participants were able to run on the street, at home, on the treadmill, or anywhere that would make physical activity possible, but without crowds.

The four sisters decided to go to Lagoa da Pampulha to do the route. Others joined them, while the others ran at home, on the treadmill, or in other outdoor locations. See below some of the participants starting.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site