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Southeast Texans donate ponytails for cancer patients
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
Nails, massages and haircuts were all part of a Beaumont cancer treatment center transformed into a salon.
Altus Cancer Center and Thairapy Salon and Spa's teamed up for "The Mane Event." The culmination of "Strands of Strength," a ponytail donation program that started last May.
Southeast Texans donated their hair at the Altus Cancer Center Saturday to help cancer patients like Reba Welch. Welch is a stage four lung cancer patient.
"It's been a journey but without family and friend I don't know what we, what I would do, that's for sure," Welch said.
She lost her hair from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She said losing your hair makes you lose part of your femininity.
"It just makes you feel different and no matter how pretty a head they say you've got you still hate losing you're hair," Welch said.
She was at the event with her daughter, Stacy Hulin, who donated her hair to "Strands of Strength."
"It was very emotional because not only my mother, but we had several family members affected by cancer and it's just a way to give back and actually to help people that are in the same situation that your family members of yourself is in and it's just a good feeling," Hulin said.
It was a good feeling for the people donating and hopefully, for the patients who will receive wigs made from more than 70 donated ponytails.
"It'll make them feel more like women and feel more feminine. You know, I think that's make a whole lot of difference, make them happier," Welch said.
Once at least 8 inches of untreated hair are cut, the ponytails are sent off to be made into wigs and donated to cancer patients.
Ginger Crisp is the co-owner of Thairapy Salon and Spa's. The salon's stylist donated their time to giving haircuts to donors.
"You're already scared and having to lose a little bit of your identity as a women I think is hard," Crisp said. "Every part of our industry is about helping women feel beautiful inside and out so this is a way to help those women that are really hurting to feel beautiful inside and out."
The campaign raised more than $15,000 to benefit The Altus Foundation and is still collecting ponytails or other contributions.