Shaving your head can be a scary thought to most people, even to guys who’ve just enlisted for NS.
But for Mr Chong Hui Kwee and his 14-year-old daughter Joanna, it was a way to show their support for cancer patients.
Hair For Hope
This year would be Hair for Hope’s 17th year running. If you’re not familiar with this, here’s a brief context: It’s a Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF)’s outreach program and the only head-shaving event in Singapore that spreads awareness and raises funds for childhood cancer.
According to its official website, the head-shaving aims to:
- Create awareness of childhood cancer in Singapore
- Show children with cancer and their families that they are not alone in their fight against cancer
- Tell children with cancer that it is OK to be bald
- Raise funds and help children with cancer and their families
- Build a community of support for children with cancer and their families
On 1 May 2019, about 455 people shaved their heads for the cause and raised more than $100,000 for children who have cancer. The Hair for Hope event was held at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery.
Participants included staff from the monastery, volunteers, devotees and Buddhist patrons. The CCF aims to get at least 6,000 participants and $3.6 million in donations.
Mr Chong and his daughter took part in the event. His daughter, Joanna, is a CCF beneficiary. In 2014, she was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer called Medulloblastoma. It’s a rare type of brain cancer, but most commonly found in children.
Fortunately, Joanna is in remission. Which means that she has either little or no signs of cancer in her body.
First Time for Everything
While it was Mr Chong’s sixth time getting his head shaved for Hair for Hope, it was Joanna’s first time.
“I was a bit nervous at the start, but now I’m feeling happy,” she said. She also added that she shaved to support the other children who still have cancer and wants to tell them not to give up.
My heart is warm.
After all, it’s not easy to make a decision to shave your head. Especially when you’re 14. And you’re a female.
An Avid Supporter
Mr Chong has been a supporter of the cause even before Joanna was diagnosed with cancer. He also said that the illness made the cause more significant for him.
It gave him a better understanding of the cause and that was why he always went back to contribute.
He also quit his job as a research and development manager so that he could take care of his daughter full-time.
Andie Chen, a local actor and one of the three Hair for Hope 2019 ambassadors, joined the father-daughter duo on stage to get his head shaved as well.
Ms Neo Lay Tin, CCF’s executive director, said: “Each year, CCF is encouraged by the enthusiasm of the organiser, devotees and members of the public who shave at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery.”
The monastery has been a satellite partner of Hair for Hope since 2012, and have raised more than $1.2million for the cause. In real time, they have raised $112,675 so far this year.
How To Join
Feel like doing your part?
On the website, you can also show your support to courageous souls who have shaved their heads for the cause by donating.
If you wish to support the cause by shaving or donating, you can refer to their official website.
The main event will take place at Vivocity, Central Court 1 & 2 on 27 and 28 July this year.
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