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Dozens donate long locks for kids with cancer at 3rd annual Haircuts for a Cause

Emotional Sonia Sunger shares her inspiration behind hair donation event
WATCH: An emotional Sonia Sunger shares her inspiration behind the annual Haircuts for a Cause event.

Dozens of people turned out Friday to get their hair cut and donate it to a group that makes wigs for children battling cancer.

In total, 72 generous donors came to Global BC’s Burnaby Studio, Brush Salon in downtown Vancouver and Loyal Salon in Kelowna for the third annual Haircuts for a Cause.

All of the hair collected and given to Wigs for Kids B.C., which partners with Eva and Co. Wigs to create hairpieces for children going through cancer treatments or other serious illnesses causing hair loss.

Brush Salon in Vancouver was a hive of activity Friday morning,
Brush Salon in Vancouver was a hive of activity Friday morning, Global News

One of the first donors in line was Bruce Taylor, who lost his wife to cancer.

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“It’s a huge loss when you lose your wife,” said an emotional Taylor.

“She died of cancer three years ago. Basically after that I decided I would do this to give back where I can.”

“Cancer basically touches everybody.”

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Leanna Yee said she’s been donating her hair for 16 years, and has lost track of how many times she’s had it cut for cancer patients.

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“I think it’s a really great cause and I just think that treatment is hard enough,” Yee said.

“For kids to not have to worry about getting a wig is something that means a lot to me.”

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“Cancer does run in my family, and I can say that hair can be a big part of how you see yourself.”

Many of those who donated said they had a personal connection to cancer, like 7-year-old Evneet whose several-foot-long hair had never been cut before, and who donated it in memory of her Grandmother.

Generous donors have their hair cut at Loyalty Salon in Kelowna.
Generous donors have their hair cut at Loyalty Salon in Kelowna. Global News

But many others, like 9-year-old Selena, offered their hair because the thought of easing a child’s anxiety while battling a scary disease like cancer was a reward on its own.

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“I don’t want the cancer kids to feel left out,” she said.

Several cancer survivors also donated their own wigs to the BC Cancer Society’s wig bank.

One of those wig donors was Global BC Anchor Sonia Sunger’s mother, Pritam, who is currently battling cancer for the fourth time.

Sonia Sunger and her mother Pritam who is battling cancer for a fourth time.
Sonia Sunger and her mother Pritam who is battling cancer for a fourth time. Simon Little / Global News

Pritam was actually the inspiration for Haircuts For a Cause, which Sunger started two years ago to honour her mother.

“I first saw my mom go through cancer when I was eight, and she lost her hair,” said Sunger. “It was difficult for me.”

Kelowna holds 2019 Hair Cuts for a Cause event
Kelowna holds 2019 Hair Cuts for a Cause event

Pritam Sunger said she was donating one of her previous wigs because she understands how important hair can be to someone fighting cancer.

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“It changes a person when you lose your hair.”

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“[With a wig] you feel like you’re connecting with people out there, and you’re not labelled as a cancer patient. It makes you feel like a normal person,” Sunger said.