Mind & Body

Go crazy with your hair for cancer research

 | August 22, 2011

Feel like shaving your head? Do it for a cause with the Terry Fox Great Canadian Hair “Do”.

The Terry Fox Great Canadian Hair “Do”, formerly the Great Canadian Head Shave, was launched last year as a creative way for people to show their support for people whose lives have been touched by cancer and to raise funds for cancer research.

While a head shave is “a great visual support for cancer research” the Great Canadian Hair “Do” doesn’t limit people to just shaving their heads, said Donna White, the Terry Fox Foundation’s B.C and Yukon provincial director.

The idea is to do something fun and unusual with your hair. You can dye it with a bold colour, get bright hair extensions, or shave it all off in exchange for a pledge—it’s all up to you. Others have also braved waxing their chest and legs in the name of fundraising. And unlike the Terry Fox Run that’s held on a specific date each year, the Great Canadian Hair “Do” is more flexible, and can be done at any time throughout the year.

White, a cancer survivor, said that seeing people shave off their hair voluntarily for the cause actually provides a huge emotional boost to a cancer patient.

“I know what it’s like to lose my hair,” she said. “As a cancer patient going through chemotherapy, you have no choice but to lose your hair. So when I see people who make that decision to come forward and to shave their head in support of somebody who had no choice but to lose their hair, it’s really amazing. It’s a fantastic show of support.”

There are many reasons why people should join this event.

“I think it’s a great way to show your support for those you know who are going through cancer treatment,” said White. “It’s a great way to honour people we have all loved and lost to this disease. It’s a great opportunity to help raise funds for cancer research and to help us continue Terry’s dream and to take on that legacy that he left with all of us.”

Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1977 at the age of 18, and had his right leg amputated above the knee. He set off on his cross-Canada Marathon of Hope in April 1980, running 48 kilometres a day, but his trip had to be cut short after the cancer returned and this time affected his lungs. He passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22. His mother, Betty Fox, who passed away in June, helped set up the foundation to carry on Terry’s legacy.

The foundation is looking for local organizers and volunteers to make this event a success. Support will be available from Terry Fox Foundation staff.

For more information, contact the Terry Fox Foundation at 1-888-836-9786.

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