This week, as we are leading up to Giving Tuesday, The Foundation for Living Beauty has been highlighting what giving means to us. One of the most inspiring forms of giving we see is from one Living Beauty to another. When a woman is diagnosed with cancer, she often faces the reality of balancing her life and her health as she works, cares for children, acts as a caregiver for adult family members and more, often while dealing with aggressive treatment and its side effects. Even within this difficult reality, our Living Beauties are still moved to do everything they can to support one another on their cancer journeys and pay it forward whenever possible, whether it be giving advice to another Living Beauty at a retreat or providing food for a Living Beauty and her family during the pandemic. These moments of selflessness that our women share with one another remind us of the power of sisterhood and community that can flourish among women. Here we are highlighting the story of our Living Beauty Rosie as she donates her hair to help make wigs for women experiencing hair loss while in treatment!
Rosie invited Living Beauty to share in this special experience as she had her hair cut for the fourth time to donate and we were able to speak with her about the impact she is making!
FFLB: Can you tell us about your journey as a Living Beauty?
Rosie: In 2019, I met an incredible woman (Angie) who became my friend. She was a living beauty thanks to another living beauty (Jeanette). Both of them have transitioned from this earth. Angie shared with me what Living Beauty was, so I went on the website and looked into it. At first I was hesitant because I’m a private person or more of an introvert when it comes to my personal life. I joined Living Beauty in January 2020 which was about 6 months after my treatment. I have met so many wonderful women who have taught me to open up about my own journey which has helped me move forward.
FFLB: You mentioned you have donated your hair in the past. What inspires you to donate your hair?
Rosie: This is my 4th hair donation. In 2012, I donated 18 inches of my hair for the first time. My hair was very long (below my seat). I wanted to shorten it but I didn’t want it to go to waste. I began to research hair donations and saw there was a huge need for hair donations to help make wigs for patients experiencing hair loss. I thought about the women in my life and thought it could be anyone one of them, not knowing I’d be the one to receive a cancer diagnosis 7 years later. At the end of 2019, my friend Angie transitioned from this life. I chose to grow my hair out and pay it forward for having the opportunity she did not get. This donation is in her honor.
FFLB: Why is it important to you to give back and pay it forward?
Rosie: I grew up helping others, from tutoring other kids in my neighborhood to helping the Kiwanis Club. I received a scholarship from the Kiwanis Club which greatly helped pay for college. I joined the Kiwanis Club and paid it forward. I co-chaired a golf tournament to raise funds for scholarships, co-chaired the holiday basket program for families in need, amongst other club activities. Helping others is part of who I am. Donating my hair is another way I can help others.
FFLB: What organizations are you donating your hair to and why?
Rosie: I am donating my hair to “Children with hair loss” who provides wigs to children experiencing hair loss for various medical conditions to include cancer. I want to help put a smile on a child’s face.
FFLB: How does donating your hair honor other Living Beauties and their cancer journeys?
Rosie: Other Living Beauty’s who experienced hair loss have shared how important having a wig(s) is for their journey. By donating my hair, I am honoring my friend and the women of Living Beauty by showing them that we can support one another in different ways.
FFLB: Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Rosie: I hope that this is just one of many other ways that I make my dash count (referencing the dash quote from the movie “Where Hope Grows”) and that I continue to live a life with purpose.