In four years, the civil association Artisans Working with the Heart has received more than three thousand locks of hair as a donation and has delivered around 350 oncological wigs.
Mazatlán, Sinaloa.- The lack of volunteer personnel is a problem that associations dedicated to the artisanal production of oncological wigs have been facing for a long time. Although it is true that the culture of hair donation has been growing, what is missing are the hands for its manufacture.
Alopecia is one of the greatest challenges, both physically and emotionally, faced by a person suffering from breast cancer or any other type, since its fall is a secondary effect of the treatment against this disease.
According to data from the Sinaloa Ministry of Health, there are more than 7,000 women who lose their lives each year due to this disease, of which only 2 out of 4 survive.
Given this scenario, in 2018 the stylist Jade Sánchez Gutiérrez, together with her husband Pablo Lira, began making oncological wigs as a result of family members, loved ones and close friends suffering from this disease and for many months they were knocking on doors in different foundations to get a hairpiece without success; so she decided to use her knowledge as an image consultant .
This is how the civil association Artesanas Trabajando con el Corazón was born, which since then and to date has delivered more than 350 oncological wigs not only in Sinaloa but also in several states of the Mexican Republic.
There is hair, but there are no volunteers
In this period they have received more than three thousand locks of hair, through fundraising events and donation of inputs and economic resources. They have paid for the materials to make this capillary alternative, but there is no one to make them.
In the group there are many people who participate and collaborate, but in the making of the wigs, specifically, volunteers come and go, only her husband and she are there permanently.
The volunteers, for the most part, are family members or cancer victims who stop attending the workshop when they get their wig.
” Sometimes the family (of the cancer patient) comes or they say that they will come later, but we know that they do not come back,” he lamented.
A single person, dedicating four hours a day, which is what is required of volunteering in the workshop, takes up to 15 days to make a wig from scratch .
The locks are donated by citizens. Photo: Fausto McConegly | The Sun of Mazatlan
In the market, an oncological wig costs up to 50 thousand pesos; in the association, the beneficiaries receive them at no cost. There are currently around 50 girls and women on the waiting list to receive their hairpieces, but there are also boys and men.
” There are many requests from gentlemen and children, sadly also from children, because they get depressed, their peers bully them, parents do not educate them on what they should not point out,” he said.
When a patient puts on her wig for the first time, she expresses, it is as if she were transformed and “come to life” , in addition, the face of the person changes completely because she already feels more sure of herself.
” It is giving a lot of heart, a lot of love, a lot of patience, caring for a patient, she comes with her story and we have to listen to her, understand her, we have to help her and support her, because sometimes cancer does not lead us, it leads us to depression, “he said. .
The most common age range for those with breast cancer is between 50 and 59 years of age, but the age at which it usually appears is from 25 years.
It is a very arduous task that they perform. Photo: Fausto McConegly | The Sun of Mazatlan
The fight against the disease
Dr. Jaime Díaz affirms that breast cancer occurs when some of the dream cells begin to develop abnormally, since these cells tend to divide more quickly than cells that are healthy. The worst thing for the patient is that these continue to accumulate and thus formalize the tumor or lump in the body.
“This issue is very complex, breast cancer begins to develop when cells develop in a very unusual way, it is dangerous and more so when it is not treated in time, it is a very difficult cancer, because it cannot be prevented “, commented.
And although it cannot be prevented, it can be cured if detected early.
” That is why the population is asked to be examined, because that way they can realize if something strange is happening in their body, once they have already gone to the doctor, in case their doctor tells them that if they have, it is a matter of following treatment, because in the same way you can heal yourself because you are treating yourself as soon as possible, not when it is too late “.
The main input is hair, it can be donated from 15 centimeters long and up. Photo: Fausto McConegly | The Sun of Mazatlan
Since the pandemic they are not attended
The director of the “Margarita Maza de Juárez” hospital, Endy Ramos, stated that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many women stopped going to medical centers for check-ups.
” Not many people resort to going to the hospital for a check-up anymore, let’s hope they already do it, it’s for the good of all, because it’s important, not only in the month of October is it something that should matter to us, it should concern us all the year,” he said.
” During the pandemic not many came and it is understood, they could not be attended to either and it is something that hurts us because we know that there were probably those who lost the battle, but here we are again inviting everyone to come and get their checkup “.
What goes into making wigs?
For the elaboration of oncological wigs the main input is the hair, this can be donated any day of the year in the workshop of affiliated artisans and aesthetics. The haircut is free and with a professional stylist.
You can donate from 15 centimeters in length onwards and it does not necessarily have to be all the hair, a lock will do . Nor does the hair necessarily have to be virgin, dyed and gray hair is accepted.
In addition, it deals with materials such as mannequins, tights, elastic thread, ribbon, eyelash glue, white sheets, and labor.
Volunteering to make cancer wigs not only gives you the satisfaction of having done something nice for someone else, but it‘s also a relaxing activity and you always learn something new.
There is no specific age to start, nor is experience required, middle and high school students are welcome, as well as young people who wish to carry out their university Social Service.
It deals with materials such as mannequins, tights, elastic thread, ribbon, eyelash glue, white sheets, and labor. Photo: Fausto McConegly | The Sun of Mazatlan
The workshop, located on Calle Guillermo Nelson 1908, Colonia Centro, is open from Monday to Thursday from 4 to 7 in the afternoon. Telephone: 6691-417094.
– 7 thousand women a year lose their lives in Sinaloa due to cancer.
– 350 oncological wigs have been delivered by the association in four years.
– 3,000 locks of hair have been donated by the association in four years.
The Mazatlan Post