Saturday, September 21, 2013

Scans are next week! And...what are we going to do with all that hair?!

First...Esther's scans have been rescheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday, September 25 & 26th.  Please be praying.

Now...on to the hair!

There is an impressive list of people ready to shave their heads Sunday, September 22!  I hope there's a lot of people who come to watch and cheer on these brave men, women & children!  Even if you're not planning to shave or donate, please come.  It's going to be a celebration and I can't wait to see the final total a humble group of people can put together to help cure kids with cancer.  The event is nearing $7,000 of online donations.  I know there are other checks coming the day of.  Wouldn't it be amazing to raise $10,000?  There are some AWESOME raffles, and it will be a great time!

Sunday, September 22nd at 2pm
Summitview Community Church Gym
1601 Drake Road, Fort Collins 80526

Thomas and Esther in August 2012
It is such an encouragement to see how many people are shaving their heads, I think there will be over 30 people!  My sister, her husband, and their kids, my dad, my grandpa, our pastor, and lots of old & new friends. I've also had reports of people who aren't ready to shave, but are going to get a significant trim to donate their hair. There is also a very dear family participating...our friend Thomas, who was in treatment about 6 months before Esther was diagnosed, and his three sisters are all shaving their heads.

I can not express what a mercy it was to have seen the Maeda's faith and white knuckle grip on the deep faithfulness of the Lord.  I don't know why it happened that two students in the same home school program would be fighting cancer at the same time.  Maybe God knew we'd need each other... We love you, Maeda family!

Now, what are we going to do with all that hair?!

I've hesitated to bring this topic up for some time because I know hair is quite personal. However, I've decided it's worth the uncomfortably because I would want to know. Over the last year several of you have cut your hair and donated it while thinking of kids like Esther.  That is great! Unfortunately the most commonly known hair donation organization, Locks of Love, isn't all that great.

They do give away wigs to kids, and that is great!  They can't use all the hair that is donated for various reasons, so they end up selling a lot of it.  Understandable.  However, the organization needs a lot more accountability in the way their executives are paid and what is done with the money they make from the hair that is not to their standards.  The part that gets me is that they ride the coat-tails of misunderstanding about who gets the wigs.  I've read articles and seen news stories about people regularly donating their hair to Locks of Love for "kids with cancer"; however, they don't actually provide wigs to kids or adults with cancer.  They have kids with permanent hair loss from things like burns or alopecia as a target population. I think a wig would be a wonderful gift to a child in those circumstances; however, I'm not okay with them utilizing this secondary marketing of oncology patients.  As I've learned more about their finances, it just makes me sad.  A simple google search will give you lots of things to consider.

There are several organizations that are better options.  A few suggestions are Pantene Beautiful Lengths, Children With Hair LossWigs For Kids, and the Childhood Leukemia Foundation.  There are also other organizations that may be unique to your area of the country like Wigs 4 Kids in Michigan.

I think the first need is for your hair to be dry, dry, dry!  The second is it should be braided with a band at the top and bottom.  Unfortunately, colored hair is often unusable in these circumstances; however, I read one suggestion about selling the hair on ebay and donating the money.  Apparently wig makers who don't have as many requirements buy it this way.

I guess this is a reminder to research organizations you aren't sure about.  It is infuriating to me that many organizations are at the least are not responsible with donations or profit from other's suffering.  Here's a list demonstrating this horrible practice, and here's an article that gives some thoughts on being wise with your giving in case you aren't sure it's a good organization.

Thankfully, St. Baldrick's is an awesome organization with lots of accountability.  I hope we get to see you Sunday!!!!


  1. I know that was a hard post to write, friend, but a needed one! Kahlen is growing out her hair to donate, and we'll want it to go to a place that will actually use it as we intend. And we're looking forward to the celebration tomorrow!

  2. Sam, Thanks for the reminder about both the good and bad lurking out there in the donation fueled non-profit sector. With so many causes that we could be donating our money to we don't want to be lazy about choosing where to place our resources.