Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

Losing family members to cancer led Dubai resident to donate hair

Tarun Kurian Thomas took two years to grow his locks long enough so that he could donate it to make real-hair wigs for cancer sufferers after his family was affected by the disease.
After two years of growing his hair, Indian Tarun Kurian Thomas donated his locks to the Hair for Hope initiative to be made into a wig. Antonie Robertson / The National
After two years of growing his hair, Indian Tarun Kurian Thomas donated his locks to the Hair for Hope initiative to be made into a wig. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // As a hairdresser took a pair of scissors to the wavy, shoulder-length mane it took Tarun Kurian Thomas two years to grow, a huge grin spread across the face of the hair donor as he thought about the smile his gift might put on the face of a cancer patient.

After two family members died of cancer within weeks of each other, the Dubai resident decided he wanted to grow and donate his locks for real hair wigs.

“My father’s brother died of stomach cancer and my mother’s sister from cancer of the uterus,” said the 27-year-old.

“It was really hard to see them bedridden, face going pale, nails turning black and that was the motivation behind what I did.”

Mr Thomas said the double tragedy to hit his family made him sit down and think what he could do to improve the lives of others battling cancer. That is when he decided to grow and donate his hair.

While his hair was longer than most men’s styles, he waited until his hair measured 15 inches before booking at appointment at a Dubai salon. On Thursday, he scooped his hair into a ponytail and watched as a hairdresser snipped away at it before shaving the rest of his head.

“Initially, I felt a little sad but I knew it was going to a good cause so I had no regrets – I really do feel happy about it,” he said.

Afterward, Mr Thomas said his new look would take time to get used to but it had one benefit in the hot UAE climate.

“I feel so cool,” he said. “I feel the air on my head after two long years.” The hair will be sent to the Hair for Hope campaign.

“I think acts like this make people feel somebody cares about them,” said the Indian.

“Please do donate once in your lifetime. Our one simple act of kindness will spread a smile.

“It is our duty to give mental strength to those patients who suffer from cancer.”

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Updated: October 1, 2016 04:00 AM