Toronto woman lops off locks to donate in honour of sister's fight with cancer
'Cancer is anonymous for them now,' says Canadian Cancer Society's Kim Rossi on National Donate Your Hair Day
Christina Carolino has been growing her hair for about five years, but on Saturday she lopped it off more than eight inches of her long, shiny locks at a Toronto hair salon in honour of her sister's battle with breast cancer.
Carolino's sister was diagnosed with the disease six months ago. She's just one of the two out of five Canadians who are expected to develop Cancer in their lifetimes, according to the Canadian Cancer Society based on 2010 estimates.
"She just finished her treatment," Carolino told CBC News of her sister. "And besides, today is her birthday."
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Saturday marked national Donate Your Hair Day, a campaign running since 2006 in partnership with Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program that provides real human hair wigs to women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. A wig like that can cost from $1,100 to $1,500, but at Canadian Cancer Society wig rooms, women battling cancer can take them home free.
Wigs provide choice
Wigs can play a major role in helping women cope with their fight against the disease, Canadian Cancer Society major gifts manager Kim Rossi says.
"Psychologically the wigs are crucial," Rossi told CBC Toronto at an event at Bang Salon on Toronto's Danforth Avenue.
"When they're wearing their wig and they go out to grocery shop or what have you, cancer's anonymous now for them."
"They don't wear cancer anymore now…They can battle in public when they want to and they can battle in private when they want to," she said.
So far, Rossi says, the program has produced around 46,000 wigs distributed to women across North America.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common forms of the disease in Canada, accounting for half of all new cases, based on 2016 estimates.
For Carolino, statistics like that and her sister's own battle make her more than happy to give up her own locks to a women dealing with the devastation of losing their hair.
"I'm really willing, really willing," she said.