Hair Today, Give Tomorrow

shaving.thumbnail Hair Today, Give TomorrowWell folks, since my last post, life has been a flurry of doctor’s appointments, tests, consultations, and getting informed and ready for the various treatments I will be going through in the coming months.

We knew I would need radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone treatments, but we needed all the myriad of tests to be completed to determine exactly what type of drugs they would be using in my specific case. And those test results are starting to trickle in, giving us more information about what to expect.

With bated breath, I’ve been waiting to find out whether the type of chemo drugs I will be receiving will result in early menopause, as well as losing all my hair. I fully expected this would be the case, but I didn’t want to go out and get my head shaved, only to find out that hair loss would not be an issue in my case. Wouldn’t that have been a cute joke for the universe to pull on me?

So, now we know. I will be losing all my hair, and very shortly too. In fact, I can expect my hair to start falling out within a week or two after my first chemotherapy treatment.

Thank God for that!

OK, who is this crazy woman and why is she thanking God for hair loss?”

The fact is, I was kind of hoping this would happen, and I’ll explain why so you all don’t think I’m certifiably nuts.

See, in my research for cancer, and specifically, chemotherapy’s side effects, I came across a website that brought tears to my eyes, and sparked an idea in my own head a little over a month ago. For a month, I’ve been planning to do something special, as soon as I found out whether or not I would go through hair loss, and because it occupied so much of my thoughts in the past few weeks, I think I would have been disappointed to find out that I wouldn’t be able to do what I had planned to do.

“Enough with the cliffhangers, Sylvie…dish already!”

Well, here’s what I have in mind, but I need your help if this is going to work…

I am going to shave my hair off before it starts falling out on its own because of chemo. My hair will be donated to a charity called Locks of Love, and my hair will then be fashioned into a custom made human hair wig for a child who can’t afford such an expensive accessory. The children that get these wigs made for them are kids who have suffered more than I ever will, and at such a young age. These kids are going through terminal illnesses while still too young to have really experienced life yet, and they deserve to have something special done for them.

It is the least I can do.

I have had my “big hair” ever since I remember. In fact, the last time my hair was cut short, I was five years old! I’ve often complained that I have “too much hair”, bemoaning the frizzies on damp days, complaining that it gets in my way all the time.

And as it turns out, all these years of carefully caring for my long hair will finally be worth something. My hair will actually be useful for something far more important than mere vanity, and will go to someone who needs it far more than I do. I am honored to be able to turn my own hair loss into something positive for a child who needs it.

Some little girl, somewhere in the world, will be proudly sporting her new mane of curly hair, and I hope she doesn’t have the same frizzies I always dealt with. It’s a shame I’ll never know who she is, because I would have been able to give her some handy hair care tips I’ve learned over the years.

These wigs would cost anyone else at least $3000 to have created for them (don’t forget, this is a custom designed human hair wig, developed especially for a child’s growing head), but because of Locks of Love (and my donation of my entire head of hair), a little girl won’t have to pay a dime for her custom designed wig.

And I couldn’t be happier about it!

But, this wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to do even more to help. After all, my life is all about turning lemons into lemon meringue pie, so I want to make sure this event does even more good for someone who needs it.

I am also going to be donating my scalp to charity.

See, I got to thinking about all those “pixel ads” webpages (like MillionDollarHomepage​.com), and I decided I had some “pixel real estate” of my own that I could donate in addition to my hair.

Here’s what I have in mind, and where I need your help…

We are holding a public Shave-​​A-​​Thon in support of both Locks of Love and the Avon Foundation’s Breast Cancer Crusade.

We are going to be shaving my head bald on October 16th. I have done some math to calculate exactly how many square inches of scalp I have, so that I can offer you virtual real estate on my head.

I am offering up to 96 square inches of my scalp to those who are willing to pledge a donation to the Avon Foundation. In exchange for every $50 donation to the Avon Foundation, one square inch of my scalp will be available to be clicked on.

Let me explain…

We will be videotaping the process of cutting my hair and shaving me bald, and after I am completely hairless, we will be taking photos of my head from both sides, and creating a very special page on this site, a page that has never been created before, as far as I know.

This page will feature the video of the shave in progress, where our good friend, DJ Dave Bernstein, will be talking about our most generous sponsors and their businesses. Any sponsor who pledges a donation to the Avon Foundation of 5 inches or more ($250+) will, if they wish, be mentioned and praised in the video. The video will also be uploaded to Google Video, You Tube, and anywhere else we can possibly promote it.

We will also showcase ALL our $50+ sponsors on the photos of my bald head which, similar to the Million Dollar Homepage, will have clickable links to a URL of their choice, hyperlinking the keywords they choose.

If you donate $100, 2 square inches of my scalp will be clickable. $150 will get you 3 square inches, and so forth.

of course, the image itself won’t be “true to size”, so the clickable areas will be scaled down accordingly. But it will all be done “to scale” and proportionate to my actual head.

And if you don’t think you can afford a $50 donation, any amount you pledge will still go a long way to help the cause, so we will have a very special “Friends of the Breast Cancer Crusade” section of the page where we will be mentioning all the names of all those who gave what they could.

This page, with video and clickable photos, will be promoted heavily on blogs, and in articles, and we intend to do our best to get the press involved with this. Essentially, I want to spread the word that even cancer isn’t an excuse to get depressed or give up on the pure joy of experiencing life and giving of ourselves to others.

This is my way of turning a negative thing like hair loss due to chemo treatments into something purely wonderful, and I need your help and support in order to do this right.

In fact, if we are right, this is the first time anything like this has been done, and if we are successful, it will serve as a shining example to others as well.

Here’s how to participate, and be part of something very special.

First, fill out our pledge form, before October 16th

Why? So that we’ll know who you are and can include you in the video and/​or the clickable photos. The pledge form results will be emailed to us, and after you fill it out, you will be taken directly to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade donation page.

Then, send your donation directly to the Avon Foundation, and be sure to select the “I would like to make this donation in honor or memory of someone else” checkbox so you can donate in honor of Sylvie Fortin. This will tell the Avon Foundation that you are donating because of this Shave-​​A-​​Thon and we will receive confirmation of the donation in time for the videotaping.

You will be asked to enter the Honoree information, as well as the Recipient information. By “recipient” they mean the person you wish to be notified of your donation. Please use the following information for that section…

Gift Type: in honor
Title: Mrs.
First Name: Sylvie
Last Name: Fortin

Street Address: 2729-​​D Innes Rd.
City: Ottawa
State/​Province: Ontario
Zip/​Postal: K1B 3J7
Country: Canada
Email Address: Sylvie@​BreastCancerVictory.​com

Be sure to complete these two steps prior to October 16th, so we can have all our materials prepared in time for the videotaping of the Shave-​​A-​​Thon.

As soon as possible after the Shave-​​A-​​Thon is done on the 17th, we will be publishing the video and clickable photos and starting the promotions.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping to make this ground-​​breaking event memorable, and to help spread awareness that breast cancer does not need to be a death sentence.

It can also remind us that giving from the heart will always be fashionable, even if being a bald woman isn’t.

And if you can help by sending an email to your list of friends and associates, announcing this event, it would be deeply appreciated!

63 Comments so far »

  1. Kim said on:

    October 12, 2006 at 12:48 am

    That is brilliant!

  2. Suzan St Maur said on:

    October 12, 2006 at 9:20 am

    Yes, what a brilliant idea! Wish I’d thought of that before my hair fell out (it’s all grown back now.)

    Are you on the “epirubicin” chemo at the moment? That’s the one that really does your hair in. The good news is that once you’ve finished that course (in my case after four x 3-​​weekly treatments) your hair can start growing back right away; many of the other chemo drugs are not so harsh on your hair follicles.

    There’s some useful information about hair loss here:

    http://​www​.breastcancer​.org/​h​s​n​_​i​d​x​.​h​tml

    Best of luck, congratulations on your excellent idea, and don’t worry — your hair will grow back, and probably will be even thicker than it was pre-​​chemo!

  3. Tatiana Velitchkov said on:

    October 12, 2006 at 9:21 am

    What a Great thought and deed Sylvie,

    And of course I’ll be making sure to be one of the donors.

    Warmly
    Tatiana

  4. Shawn Casey said on:

    October 12, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    Sylvie,

    Awesome idea!

    I got my piece of this valuable “real estate”. I don’t expect it will last long. And it shouldn’t.

    Go Sylvie!

    Shawn

  5. Dr.Mani said on:

    October 12, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for giving us a chance to reach out and touch a life, Sylvie.

    And thank you for being YOU — an inspiration to everyone on how never to let events and circumstances get you down.

    All success

    Dr.Mani

  6. Dr.Mani said on:

    October 12, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    Oh, and I forgot — I’ve got your scalp too… or at least a part of it!

    Just sent in a donation of $150 to the Avon Breast Crusade, and I hope many more readers do.

    All success
    Dr.Mani

  7. Andre Chaperon said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 9:59 am

    Sylvie, you ROCK girl!

    I’ve got my share of your “head real estate”. How cool (err… warm) is that. ;-)

    Take care,
    Andre

  8. Jim Haas said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 11:25 am

    Dear Sylvie,

    What a wonderful thing for you to do for some little girl that may lose her hair to cancer. Instead of sitting there and just wondering when your air was going to fall out you decided to display an unselfish act and help someone. I hope that others follow your example and do the same. As we are all ONE what one person does effects us all. I applaude you and just remember some of the most beautiful women in the world have shaved their heads. Hair doesn’t make a person who they are. The heart does.

    May the Divine always bless you, your family and whatever you are guided to do,

    Kind Regards,
    Jim Haas

    p.s. I’m buying a couple of inches of your beautiful bald head.

  9. Get The Healing Codes said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Dear Sylvie,

    I wish you get well as soon as possible, in fact i hopei can help you?

    You’re welcome to visit my link above (in the Name filed) to see how you can win this battle, what is the real cause to the disease and how you can heal it.

    Let me know if there’s anything i can do to help.

    God bless,

    Sam

  10. David said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    Dear Sylvia,
    Great idea but let me share with you my girlfriend’s journey, perhaps it will help you and others. Maria was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer over a year ago. The only option given to her was a radical mastecomy by her doctors in Europe (where she lives) and Japan where we had checked on a new procedure that destroys the cancer from the inside out w/​o side effects (hers is too advanced). She decided to see what else was available (her odds of survival with organized medicine are less than 15% — overall survival rates for cancer are approximately 42%). I recommended the Gerson therapy to Maria (www​.gerson​.org — http://​www​.gersonmiracle​.org/​m​o​v​i​e​.​h​tml). I had worked for a lady who was considered incurable after 5 surgeries and given a few weeks to live. I worked for her 25 years after that prognosis. She had gone through the Gerson program. Within weeks of adopting the program, Maria’s pain had receded, her lymph glands began shrinking and she has more energy than she can remember having in years. It’s been 6 months now and Maria is doing fine, pain free, etc. (note: Suzanne Somers is at the 6 year mark) Dr. Gerson had a remarkable 50% cure rate on the “incurables,” the only group he was allowed to work with (compare with the 42% overall rate of conventional medicine). It’s not an easy program to follow. It requires that you take responsibility for your own health, adopt a radical change in diet, lifestyle and attitude, and become a very active and disciplined partner in your own health plan. Maria went to a center for 2 weeks and became immersed in the program. That foundation gave her the tools and incentive to continue the program because it is difficult; and, it is so easy to give up and just put your life in the hands of others (the “magic” pill syndrome). I apologize for being long winded but I hope that some will think about an alternate road. Good luck to you in your choices. Feel free to contact me if you would like some references (I have no financial interest in the Gerson program).

    David

  11. Lisa said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    Sylvie:

    I do not know you personally, however I was touched by your strength and your amazing approach to this disease. You are an amazing woman, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to participate in some way in this wonderful event. Yes, I made my donation, and have a small bit of your beautiful real estate. Thank you.

    Lisa

  12. Tianyi said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    You are such a blessing despite your situation.

    God bless you :)

  13. Deb Holder said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    Sylvie,

    The more I learn about you, the more I realize just how amazing you are!

  14. Eve Bingham said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    Sylvie,
    Remarkable!! Having recently completed chemo– and radiotherapy (together) I have looked for a way of using my experience, as you are doing. I’ve been outlining (roughly) some exercises using paper and pen, audio and /​or video tape to help people trying to put a new structure into their lives after having been diagnosed with cancer.

    Your project has given me a real boost. I hope I can do as well as you in transforming experience into healing..

    Thanks,

    Eve Bingham

    PS I can’t give money now, as I am just about making ends meet, but please keep in touch. My finances WILL improve!!

  15. Caro :-) said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Sylvie,

    WOW! I’ve just learnt your news — and have been pouring over this blog. What a woman — and what a great attitude — you CAN and WILL beat this!

    The power of positive thinking (and feeling) IS more than lip service — it does work.

    I am sure you have been recommended many books to read etc — at the risk of repeating things.

    Brandon Bays, Caroline Myss and Louise Hays in their books all speak specifically of people who have healed themselves of Cancer through natural means (not suggesting moving away from allopathic medicine either — YOU know intuitively what’s best for you right now).…and these people — including Brandon & Louise are so called ‘miracle’ cases.…of many that do have a 100% recovery (where the cancer curiously seems to disappear).

    Our Kylie down-​​under just fought a successful battle against breast cancer as did Antastasia up your way — and both have been wonderful beacons of light, like you — of what can be achieved in the way of healing.

    Sending you a HUGE hug with lots of healing love — for you and Michel.
    Caro :-) xx

  16. abdellah said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Sylvie,

    Thank you very much, those are just a love miracles.

    God bless you.

    Take care.

  17. Lou Schuyler said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    Hey Sylvie,

    You got my help.
    My wife and I will keep you in our prayers.
    Awesome gesture…you must be one helluva lady.
    Lou

  18. chuck said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 11:17 pm

    Sylvie,
    I will add you to my prayer list.
    Please check out the Sedona Method. http://​www​.sedona​.com
    best wishes.
    chuck

  19. Colleen said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    My oldest donated her hair to LOL this spring, and my middle child is growing out her hair now to do the same. And hey, if you didn’t like your hair, it may grow back differently after chemo. One of my best friends is a survivor and she has curly hair now, and loves it!

  20. Jason said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 11:43 pm

  21. Peter Stone said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 12:49 am

    Hi Sylvie,

    I’m in…

    –Peter

  22. Josh said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 4:38 am

    A very touching story which I hope to help you gain momentum behind.

  23. Lynna Landstreet said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 5:08 am

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but there have been a lot of questions raised about Locks of Love’s business practices. I’ve sen a number of articles claiming that only a small fraction of the donated hair is used to make wigs for children as claimed; the majority is sold to commercial wigmakers, and that even the relatively few wigs that are made by Locks of Love are not given to children who’ve lost their hair — they’re sold to them, though apparently they do at least have a sliding scale based on the family’s income. Locks of Love has also apparently failed to meet charitable accounting standards.

    For more info:

    badhairday.typepad.com/ba…6/07/locks_of_love_i.html
    associatedcontent.com/art…/34753/locks_of_love.html
    http://​www​.give​.org/​r​e​p​o​r​t​s​/​c​a​r​e​2​_​d​y​n​.​a​s​p​?​733

    I know the people who donate them mean well, and I have seen some people defending them, but it does appear to be true that most of the donations don’t go where people think they do. Something to think about, anyway…

  24. Jan said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 6:04 am

    Dear Sylvie,

    You can get your hair back and total healing.
    Give http://​www​.thehealingcode​.com a try. Simple
    exercises and prayer gives you new life.

    May God bless your future,

    Jan.

  25. domaincarsigns said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 9:29 am

    The good news is that my experience with hair loss from chemo is going back to the early 80’s — the Drs. at Sloan Kettering didn’t prepare me for it and it took about a week. I had a wig made — the man at Bergdorfs was very, very kind and I had the impression that they hadn’t done alot of wigs for cancer patients before — or maybe just he hadn’t — and I never wore it once. Of course my eyebrows went too, so it just seemed like colorful silk scarfs were the way to go for me. When my hair grew back in it was softer and wavy — not such a bad thing at all.

    May God bless you, Sylvie for what you are now doing here for others.

    Martha

  26. HENRY said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 9:32 am

    Dear sir
    thank you very much for your email i am de lighted to let you know
    that i ma very very much intereste d in your program (USA)
    i would like to start investing in your program. so iam there fore
    kin dly asking you to please let me how i will start tde investment
    program .i look for ward to hearing from you. thanks
    yours sincerly
    henry wilson

  27. Roger said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 10:03 am

    Sylvie,

    It has been said here but that is a brilliant idea.

    Absolutely brilliant. Not only helpful and thoughtful
    but courageous as well. I would shit myself if that
    happened to me. You are doing great.

    I also have never read an entire blog entry, ever!

    This was so interesting I read every word, twice!

    Great work and keep it up, Karma always pays
    off.

    God Bless.

  28. Saundra said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Sylvie,

    No good deed is left un-​​notice. You are definitely earning your wings and a place in heven. I have put you on my prayer list and you are now healed in the name of Jesus Christ.

    I would like to feature you and your proposal on my website/​blog at http://​ask​-​a​-bride​.com along with your present journey. I am sure that even through your situation may seem unique to you there are others who have gone or are going thru the same or similar. I would like you to share this with other brides and future brides. Help me help you get the word out.

    I believe that God always has a plan for the things that we go thru. You have an opportunity to reach a large audience and be a guide to so many. Mike also has a story for the men. He too has a part in your jorney.

    Also, I suggest that you provide an ebook of tips for use of your hair. It would add a nice personal touch. :) Please contact me thru http://​areyouabride​.ask​-​a​-bride​.com.

    We missed you at the TIMME 2 event but I purchased a wrist band in your honor.

    Stay in prayer and God will deliver you. My son died from Fanconi Anemia complications because I believe, a lack of knowledge and interest. FA requires bone marrow transplants. And because it is genetically spread, we needed bone marrow from a black person. That is a procedure that blacks are not big on doing. We need to educate people so that fear is remove and compassion is released. We must all work together so tht we can achieve more.

    I too am very passionate about helping others. Waiting patiently to hear from your or Mike. Sylvie, you will reap what you sow.

  29. Harry said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Hi Sylvie,

    My name is Harry Paloglou, I am from Australia,
    Frank Kern sent out an email telling us about your blogg, I guess I must be living under a rock, as Frank put it, because I had not heard about the cancer, I know who your husband is and have great respect for his talents in the marketing community.

    I haven’t been able to read everything on your blogg, but something caught my eye…

    You mentioned that you fully expected the chemo drugs you will be receiving would result in early menopause, as well as losing all your hair!
    And also that you didn’t want to go out and get your head shaved, only to find out that hair loss would not be an issue in your case. And wouldn’t that have been a cute joke for the universe to pull on you!

    Well I have something I’d like to share with you and anyone who is facing similar circumstances, I am in no way affiliated with what I am about to share with you, the only way I came across this was through a friend who shared it with me, I have found the link and believe this may help in a great way, please understand that I respect your beliefs and opinions, what ever they may be.

    And encourage you to follow the best advice from the right professionals, I believe this secret will be of great benefit to you in the way you think and what you expect, especially when it comes to the universe!

    There is an amazing section in this movie/​documentary where a lady facing similar circumstances had amazing results, please understand that I do not recommend that you follow the exact same way she went about it, (everybody is different) but what I do recommend is for you to follow the same principles that this secret teaches.

    I am certain that this will help you in some way.

    Peace and Blessings to you.

    Harry.

  30. Harry said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Oops sorry, forgot to give you the link ;-)

    http://​thesecret​.tv/

    Harry.

  31. Lynna Landstreet said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    Just an additional comment — I posted last night about the controversy over Locks of Love, and realized afterwards that it was probably inappropriate for my first comment here to be one that could come across as negative.

    I was drawn to read your blog because my mom is currently going through breast cancer — hers was fortunately caught fairly early, and they initially thought they could get it all with just a lumpectomy, but when she saw the oncologist for a post-​​surgery followup, she said that it looked like it might have gone a little further than they first thought and recommended that she have a mastectomy, which they’re trying to schedule now.

    So this issue has been on my mind a lot lately, and I just wanted to let you know that, all Locks of Love issues aside, I really appreciate you keeping this blog and letting people know about your experience. I think my mom tends to feel like she always has to put a brave face on everything, at least when dealing with her kids, so reading about the experience from someone else’s perspective is helping me to understand what she might be going through a bit more. Thank you.

  32. Hugh Simpson said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Hi, Sylvie! I would be glad to see if I can get some TV coverage for your haircutting since I’m a former TV newsman for Post Newsweek TV. My buddie shoots for Good Morning America and othe rprime time news shows.

  33. Sylvie said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Lynna

    Thank you for raising these issues about Locks of Love. It’s important to be fully aware.

    This event is really all about raising money for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. It is, in my opinion, one of the best charities to focus my attention on. They “spread the love” in many ways, and they cover everything from screening programs, research, prevention, and medical care…all the way to helping women look good and feel better after surgery and during chemo.

    In fact, some dear friends of mine (Mike Filsaime, Donna Fox and Paulie Sabol) chose to do their part as well in September, shortly after my surgery, to raise money for the Avon Foundation at their Internet Marketing Main Event, in my honor, and I was so moved by their efforts, I decided to do something of my own as well.

    That this event centers around my hair loss is merely coincidental, in many respects. My hair loss sparked an idea of how I could use this as not only a fund raising effort, but also to cement my message in people’s minds in the process. My message throughout this entire journey is that no matter what I am going through, there is always a way of turning it into a positive experience and focusing on the joy of life and of giving selflessly.

    Having said that, I wanted to also address the issue of whether or not Locks of Love is an appropriate charity for my hair donation. (Remember, Locks of Love is only receiving my hair, not cash donations. This is important, and I’ll come to that shortly.)

    There are a few reasons why I have chosen Locks of Love as the recipient of my shorn hair, rather than throwing it directly into the trash…As opposed to someone who specifically grows their hair for two years for the sole purpose of donating it to Locks of Love.

    1. To the issue of the fact that the Locks of Love charity sells off some of the hair donations…

    It’s important to understand that all charities have expenses, and this one is no exception. There are a lot of expenses associated with converting a ponytail into a wig, and Locks of Love is not a manufacturer. They must prepare the hair and send it to a manufacturer, which charges the charity money for the manufacturing process.

    In their words “Locks of Love is not a manufacturer of any type of hair replacement product or hair care product. As a charity and strictly a charity, we must purchase the custom prostheses we provide for our recipients.”

    Most donations they receive are envelopes with hair in them. Some people donate money as well, but for the most part, they receive lots and lots of hair each year. Much of which is not even usable for wigs.

    Therefore, it is inevitable that they will need to either (a) Throw away the unusable pieces, or (b) sell them and use the cash for processing the usable hair into wigs.

    Obviously, it would be just as silly for them to throw away the unusable pieces as it would be for me to throw away my own unusable hair. I am glad they don’t waste the hair that is unusable, and instead, they use the cash to pay for the associated expenses.

    Remember that my choices are (a) Watch my hair fall out in clumps and go to waste, or (b) donate it to a charity that will either use it or sell it so they can make wigs for children with medical hair loss issues.

    In my case, I am sending Locks of Love a few ponytails. The longest pieces will likely be usable, while the shortest bits (bangs, side pieces, etc) will likely not be usable at all and will need to be sold so that Locks can use that money to defray the costs of manufacturing the rest of the wigs they have made.

    I am not sending them cash donations, and basically, I am sending them an envelope of “expenses”. Granted, since I happen to have a LOT of hair, and most of it is over 14 inches long, they will likely be able to use most of it for an actual wig.

    But that isn’t what is important to me. What’s important to me is that my donation of hair will be used 100% towards the organization which will use my hair (either the hair or the money they get for selling parts of my hair) for something good.

    My hair, if not donated to this charity, is falling out anyway, and that’s my point. I would rather not see it 100% trashed. I would rather it have even a slim chance of doing something good, rather than be wasted.

    2. To the issue raised about how Locks of Love is managed.

    There are a lot of charities, and it is often difficult for people to know whether their money will be used the way they intended. That is why there are independant organizations that are set up that evaluate charities objectively, and when you want to do any fundraising, it is a very good idea to run some checks first to ensure that the organization you’re supporting hasn’t been set up as a smokescreen for some people to get rich.

    That’s why I did my research, and decided to support a great cause (Avon Foundation) as well as donate my hair (and only my hair) to Locks of Love.

    For example, according to Charity Navigator, an independant watchdog organization that keeps tracks of charities like this, Locks of Love has a very reliable track record for keeping their program costs as low as possible.

    See report here:

    charitynavigator.org/inde…ch.summary/orgid/9285.htm

    I also chose to encourage others to donate their money directly to the Avon Foundation’s Breast Cancer Crusade (instead of me collecting it and then sending the Avon Foundation a large check).

    In this way, Locks of Love benefits by receiving my hair, which would ordinarily have gone straight to the trash, and the Avon Foundation, which is my favorite breast cancer charity, gets the benefit of the cash donations to cover a wide variety of breast cancer programs.

    So, if Locks of Love ends up making a wig or selling the hair, this doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that it didn’t go to waste. It matters to me that I didn’t decide to get depressed about the loss of my hair at all. It matters only that my loss is someone else’s gain, and that I didn’t just bemoan my loss. I did something with it.

    And that’s really the message I want to give. Not “which charity and are they worthy?”, but rather…“although I cannot control what happens to me, I can control whether or not it is turned into a positive message”.

    I refuse to go through this experience for nothing. I refuse to accept that this struggle will be a waste or be pointless. Just as I refuse to waste my long hair, I also refuse to waste this chance to do something good with my life.

    This experience is, in my opinion, an opportunity to create a miracle.

  34. Sylvie said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    Also to Lynna:

    Please give your mom a great big hug for me. I know what she’s going through, and she is a very brave woman. Thank you for helping her get through this. I am certain it means the world to her. :)

    Sylvie

  35. Mary Comm said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 12:46 am

    Hi Sylvie,

    You are truly an amazing woman and an inspiration. I applaud your transparency, honesty, courage and spirit. I pray for your continued strength, positive outlook, and complete recovery. And I hope you will continue your blog.

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

    Warmest regards,
    Mary Comm

  36. Dr. Cindy Brown said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 1:01 am

    Sylvie,

    I see you turning your challenge into passion for a cause and to moving forward with your life and your healing.

    I see you focussing on what you want for yourself and the world, that is the energy that heals and grows beyond your needs.

    Thank you for inspiring me and others to be what we were meant to be…givng, loving and angels every day!
    Namaste’
    Dr. CIndy

  37. Lonnie said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 5:56 am

    Just added you to the blogroll…

    Keep up the great work…

    Blessings from China.…

    L

  38. Ann White said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Dear Sylvie,

    I hope you get well soon. $50 donation made tonight.

    Kind regards

    Ann

  39. Diane Corriette said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    Sylvie
    I wish you a speedy and full recover. Its so great the way you are raising awareness of this. If this helps please take a look at a dvd called the secret. If you have any belief, however small, in the body playing a part in healing itself it may provide you with some comfort. http://​www​.thesecret​.tv

    Continued Blessings
    Diane

  40. Paul Tilson Weinberg said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Dear Sylvie,

    (Never posted on a blog before, hope it’s okay writing you a long note)

    Sylvie,

    You have courage and vision and I admire you.

    Awaken, Explore, Discover

    Sylvie, you awaken to a threat, explore the situation and discover a way to move beyond.

    What I admire is your waking up one day to a diagnosis of breast cancer and moving beyond that to a higher purpose: strong support of a young girl and the Avon Breast Cancer Cruscade.

    You are inspirational and so are other “survivors” we’ve met.

    Breast Cancer Action (You’re Taking it, thank you)

    Are you aware of an organization here in Nova Scotia called Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia (BCANS)?

    They had an event earlier this year called
    “Bustin Out” and we couldn’t help but support them. These are woman full of courage, humor and joy.

    Just like you!

    You don’t just worry and agonize, you act!

    You and they at BCANS move beyond agonizing to action, even to celebration.

    Our place here on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia will help sponsor a Breast Cancer Retreat in Spring 07. Our name is Cabot Shores Adventure and Retreat Centre: http://​www​.cabotshores​.com. Our tag line is Awaken, Explore, Discover.

    You and BCANS broaden this to Explore, Discover, and Celebrate.

    We will have native healing from our Mi kmaq friends, eastern healing from my wife Barbara who does acupuncture and general support through action—flyfishing, dancing, music, kayaking/​canoeing, hikes, sitting looking at the Atlantic, Church Pond, Indian Brook…being as far east in North America as you can be without being in Newfoundland.

    Don’t get me wrong. With all this potential activity here, it is a very peaceful serene spot. You’ll see.

    You are fast moving and facing fast moving events. Are you able to find special and peaceful places with yourself and in those around you?

    For me, being outside, in nature is a good way to connect—with a peaceful spot, even with fierce spots that keep me going. Women friends who have breast cancer tell me they make this connection with nature and with each other.

    It takes time and the place and the space to do so.

    It is a precious time. You deserve the time.

    So you are invited. You bring both a physical place into play—your body, your head—and a great spirit—your honesty, courage, and your generous invitation to join us in building a community.

    Yes, I/​we are contributing. How could I/​we do otherwise? We will also share you with our friends, in Canada and with our guests from all over the world.

    And I also invite you again with your new friends and old ones alike to come here and celebrate or to take this spirit of celebration (and support each day for living) that we offer you anywhere you are.

    You are a fierce celebration of life!

    All our best wishes from Cabot Shores, Cape Breton Island.

    –Dr. Paul

    Dr. Paul Tilson Weinberg
    Cabot Trail at Indian Brook
    Rr#1 Englishtown
    Nova Scotia, Canada b0c1h0
    Telephone: 902 929 2584

    PS A while ago my wife had what looked like ovarian cancer. It threw me into fearing but getting ready for her death. Wondering how I’d be with our two kids. Wondering how it would be without her. The cancer wasn’t there, it was just a cyst.

    Whew, close call.

    For you: whether and how serious it is or becomes, you now realize what it’s like to face death everyday. Your husband Michel will have that experience as well. It’s not necessarily bad, especially around your energy.

    Scarey sometimes, eh?

    PPS Rest assured that a sense of spunkiness and courage comes through in your words (and actions)

    Hang in there, Sylvie. We love you for being there and for gathering us around you.

  41. Kahtleen Gage said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    What an incredible use of energy. Thank you for doing this. I got my square. I have been touched all my life by the impact of breast cancer and know it is by the support and love of others, the journey is gentler.

    Kathleen

  42. fallou said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    i am keenly interested

  43. Siriol Jameson said on:

    October 15, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Sylvie,
    That is a pretty wonderful thing you are doing! Your beautiful hair will bring comfort to
    those little ones. Plus, you help us all by keeping us up to date on your thoughts and actions.
    Keep up the good work, Sylvie!
    Siriol Jameson

  44. Pam McKinnis said on:

    October 16, 2006 at 12:11 am

    Hi Sylvie,
    I have just sent in my donation and I’m sure you will come through this amazingly well. That fellows post above says he can get you some TV coverage, I think this is worth national coverage!

    It is very hard to put into words how your actions are helping women all over the world. I’m sure there are lots of people reading these blog posts that won’t post themselves but you have touched many lives.

    To a speedy recovery,
    Pam

  45. Ralph Zuranski said on:

    October 16, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Sylvie and Michel,
    You guys are so inspirational. With all you are going through, I went back and read Michel’s heroes interview. He providing such an incredible example of how men should love their wives.

    After reading the interview again and being blown away by his answers, I decided to republish Michel’s “In Search of Heroes Interview” in the blog at http://​www​.insearchofheroes​.com/​b​log.

    Who would have imagined life would have so many bumps in the road.

    Even now when I went back and read his interview you can see bravery, altruism, faith, love and compassion.

    When my parents leave this earth, (they are on hospice now) I look forward to asking you the heroes questions.

    I believe your answers will inspire many different generations of women to have courage, never give up and always have a positive attitude,
    Warmly,
    Ralph

  46. Deb said on:

    October 16, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    I love that you’re donating it before it falls off. What a beautiful gesture from a beautiful woman.
    Best to you, Deb

  47. Monica and Gail said on:

    October 17, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    Dear Sylvie,

    We admire your bravery, positivism, enthusiasm and big heart. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers and are confident that you’ll regain your health and will continue to inspire and help others for decades to come.

    Love and Hugs,

    Monica and Gail

    p.s. We arrived a bit late to the donation dateline but still went ahead with it because we strongly believe it’s a worthy cause. What a great and charitable idea!

  48. Xiomara Ottati said on:

    October 17, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Dear Sylvie,

    I admire your positivism and courage. I know that your battle is a big one because my sister in law had the same battle as you and now she is a winner. I know that God will be beside you holding your hand in your journey and I’m confident that you will be a winner too.
    You are inspiring others with your actions and I’m sure that with your hair you will put a big smile in a child face and that is a beautiful miracle.

    Love,

    Xiomara

  49. Val said on:

    October 18, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    It takes a positive attitude and courage to win this battle. You have both… you’re going to be a winner as I see it!

    The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…

  50. Dr.Mani said on:

    October 19, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    Great to hear this campaign raised over $8,000 — and that EVERYONE wants your head, Sylvie! :)

    Will send out a follow up note to my list soon about it. Thanks for showing how even a life-​​defining and changing event can be used to make a difference — it’ ‘The Power of One’ in action.

    btw, the change you’ve made to the color scheme of this blog takes away from the ‘softness’, makes things look ‘harsh’ — just my opinion, I liked the earlier, softer pinks.

    All success
    Dr.Mani

  51. Suni/bulletproofsoul said on:

    October 22, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    Haven’t heard anything on this blog for over a week. Is everything alright?

  52. Mary Kenny said on:

    November 1, 2006 at 2:49 am

    Sylvie:

    I feel like I’ve been living “under a rock” these last two weeks, because I missed your beautiful “real estate” event. BUT, all is not lost. I finally crawled out… It must have been the smell of your Lemon Pie! (I did read your blog!)

    The other evening, I attended what I thought would be a “pitch fest” for some new health fad.

    Yikes, was I ever wrong!

    Dr. William Code, a Saskatchewan born and trained Doctor, who has practised medicine in Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. talked about his journey through illness as he strived for health. In the process of doing this, he explained a lot about nutrition and exactly how he developed his personal roadmap towards health.

    Dr. Code is Anesthesiologist and a researcher, who was diagnosed in 1996 (at age 42), with progressive MS. Prognosis: you don’t even want to know…

    Like you, Sylvie, Dr. Code is a true inspiration. The fact that, 10 years after being diagnosed, he could walk into the hall, to share what he learned through his research about gaining back better health, is in itself amazing.

    While I know MS and cancer are not the same, I learned there are similarities among auto-​​immune diseases, which is a label that covers both MS and cancer. So, while he has focused on MS this last decade due to his situation, he has found how he can help others find their roadmap towards health.

    Anyway, his book “Who’s In Control of Your Multiple Sclerosis” is worth a read by anybody with an auto-​​immune disease. Dr. Code even includes his personal contact info and invites people to contact him.

    Throughout Dr. Code’s presentation, I thought about you, Sylvie. If anything in what he has discovered can help you, Sylvie, it is worth a read.

  53. Mary Kenny said on:

    November 1, 2006 at 3:03 am

    I pushed send button before I put the site — http://​www​.emu​.ca
    Tele 888–784-2244

    Plus, I have since found out that research by Dr. Bounus at McGill U. might also help provide a puzzle piece in the health question.

    NOTE: I have no gain/​ interest at all in either Dr. Code’s book or Dr. Bounus’ research and HMS 90 product. (a whey protein isolate).

  54. Fundraiser said on:

    January 15, 2007 at 12:23 am

    are them crickets i hear a chirpin?

  55. Like Your Hair said on:

    March 30, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    You are strong and courageous and a true survival! Thanks for the article, and know that lots of women shave their heads in solidarity with breast cancer victims. We support you!

  56. Marketer Exposes Herself For Charity » Copywriting Blog By Copywriter Michel Fortin said on:

    May 19, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    […] more to it than this. For the complete story, check out my wife’s latest blog entry describing exactly how it’s all going to happen — and how you can […]

  57. Sister Study said on:

    June 28, 2007 at 11:00 am

    How would you like to make a difference in breast cancer research? The Sister Study needs your help to determine if breast cancer is caused by something women come in contact with at work, at home, in their communities or in the personal products they use.

    The Sister Study is looking for 50,000 women to help discover the environmental and genetic causes of the disease. Women ages 35 to 74 are eligible to join if their sister (living or deceased), related to them by blood, had breast cancer; they have never had breast cancer themselves; and they live in the United States or Puerto Rico.

    ENROLL TODAY or simply help spread the word to women in your community! Either way, you can help find the causes of breast cancer!!

    For more information visit http://​www​.sisterstudy​.org or http://​www​.estudiodehermanas​.org. Call toll-​​free 1–877-4SISTER. Deaf/​Hard of Hearing call 1–866-TTY-4SIS.

  58. beautytrendsblog.com » Blog Archive » Fighting Medical Hair Loss with Wigs said on:

    July 3, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    […] be an issue in my case. Wouldn’t that have been a cute joke for the universe to pull on me?” (breastcancervictory.com/s…emotherapy-and-hair-loss/)The women who have best dealt with this are the ones who have viewed it as a challenge and not a […]

  59. carrie said on:

    October 20, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    I was always blessed with fast growing
    thick hair. I donated 16 inchs of hair to locks of love 5 years ago. Now i want to donate to a woman or man with cancer. who do i contact?

  60. Mr Law of Attraction said on:

    November 6, 2007 at 3:45 am

    That’s a brilliant idea , I wish you all the best and success.

  61. Bowel syndrome said on:

    December 15, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Well I Glad and astonish that humanity is still in this world. Still people feels the emotions for someone whom you don’t know even. I really appreciate her doing such a good thing.

    dr. Doniv

  62. maria benitez said on:

    July 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    hey i had made a promise to cut my hair and donate it to people who have breast cancer … but in order to donate it i need to know a telephone number or the location oof this place .… i live in new york and i dont know were i can donate my hair so please contact me in my hotmail =)

  63. shercyramos said on:

    August 24, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I truly admire how you bravely and nobly face this condition of yours. Even the details that seem to be depressing for people is a way for you to be creative and helpful. YOu still think of others amidst your situation. I want to be like you.

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