Battling cancer with style
A practical way to help cancer patients: give them the power of hair.
Jason is a hair collector.
It's not a strange hobby or anything like that.
It's a passion to connect people with long, healthy hair, to cancer survivors who've lost theirs.
Five years ago, a close brush with cancer led Jason to an event where people lopped off their locks in support of a good cause. When he learnt that the hair wouldn't be used, but be discarded, he saw an opportunity.
He started Recycle Your Hair, a project that gives people the opportunity to donate their hair towards a wig that is given free-of-charge to people who are bald because of illness.
Wigs made of human hair are more comfortable than synthetic wigs. They also look more natural and last longer. But they are expensive, sometimes costing upwards of $1000.
This is unaffordable for many people, especially when they're also dealing with medical expenses that can sometimes be debilitating.
Rachel, who features in the video, had extremely long hair and an entire wig could be made from her donated hair.
But it usually takes multiple hair donations to make a single wig.
In five years, Jason has received more than 500 hair donations, and made nearly 30 wigs.
It's taken commitment, persistence and grit.
He works with a local wigmaker - one of the remaining few in Singapore - who makes the wigs at a reduced cost of $180.
He then partners organisations like Breast Cancer Foundation which offer the wigs to women who go to them for help.
Sometimes, hair donors will also sponsor the cost of making a wig.
Many times, Jason pays.
Where he's struggled the most is finding volunteers to help behind the scenes, arranging hair collections and deliveries, as well as physically sorting and cataloguing hair donations.
Jason started Recycle Your Hair on his own, and found a couple of dedicated volunteers along the way. But he knows that if more people are willing to help him, the project could really thrive.
If you're keen, please visit http://recycleyourhair.blogspot.sg/p/volunteers.html
Thanks to Nurture Craft for allowing us to film the hair sorting process at their office.