It takes two years for a donor to the Wigs 4 Kids program to grow out enough hair for a donation, but that hasn’t stopped Sara Yaroch, of Richmond, from doing just that for years.
“I was a teenager when I started donating my hair, and I’ve kept doing it every two years or so since then,” she said.
Wigs 4 Kids has provided more than 3,500 wigs and support services to Michigan children and young adults ranging in age from 3 to 18 who experience hair loss due to cancer, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns and other disorders at no charge since 2003.
Every wig provided by the St. Clair Shores-based nonprofit is custom-fitted, age-appropriate and individually cut and styled as requested by the child or teenager to help them feel comfortable and confident, the group’s website states.
Yaroch, an attorney, mother of two and wife of State Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond, visited the Wigs 4 Kids Wellness Center on July 11 to drop off her latest donation.
She was accompanied to the center by her husband and State Rep. Jeff Yaroch, who has championed Wigs 4 Kids and helped introduce legislation encouraging insurance coverage of wigs for children like any other prosthetic. The bills have received bipartisan support in the Senate and House of Representatives and are currently pending at the insurance policy committee.
“We’re honored to have the support of Sara and her husband for Wigs 4 Kids,” Founder and CEO Maggie Varney said. “It is a two-year commitment to grow hair out to the minimum length to donate, and every hair donation means another child will receive a wig from Wigs 4 Kids. This is critical to a child’s self-esteem as they journey through their health challenge.”
The Voice caught up with Sara Yaroch to pose a few questions about her hair adventures.
The Voice: How long did you have to refrain from cutting or coloring your hair to make the donation?
Yaroch: It typically takes about two years to grow my hair out for donation, and Wigs 4 Kids is only able to accept hair that has not been colored or chemically treated.
The Voice: Why did you choose to do this for Wigs 4 Kids? Is there a personal story behind it for you, or just a worthy cause?
Yaroch: I first started donating my hair when I was a teenager. At the time, I only knew of one organization that accepted hair donations, and that is where I donated my hair for several years. But I always wondered, “Was there an organization that helped kids right here in Michigan?” One day, I just googled the words “wigs for kids Michigan” and found out that the exact organization I was looking for existed right in my own backyard.
Wigs 4 Kids is such a blessing for the children in our state. The children who come to Wigs 4 Kids pay nothing for the wigs they receive, but they walk out of Wigs 4 Kids with so much more than a custom-made, human-hair wig. Wigs 4 Kids provides a variety of support services to both the kids and parents, including educational support services, medical support services, self-empowerment through self-image sessions, pastoral and spiritual care and much more.
The Voice: Is your hair usually worn long or just for this donation?
Yaroch: I like having my hair long, so it’s always an adjustment after I get it cut for a donation. But when I think about what the children who are losing their hair due to cancer treatments or other hair loss disorders are feeling, I quickly get over it and look forward to, and get excited about, the next time that I’m able to donate.
The Voice: Do you get to meet the recipients of your donations?
Yaroch: I haven’t met any of the recipients of my hair donations, but I like to think that at some point I’ve walked past a child wearing and enjoying my hair at the grocery store or somewhere else in the community. And that thought makes me smile.
The Voice: Have your found any downsides to doing this type of donation?
Yaroch: There really is no downside to donating your hair, especially to such a worthy organization like Wigs 4 Kids. In fact, many stylists will actually give you a discount on your haircut if they know you are donating your hair.
The Voice: Do you recommend it? Will you do it again in the future?
Yaroch: I absolutely recommend those who are able to donate their hair to do so, and I would encourage them to make their donation to Wigs 4 Kids. I plan on continuing to donate my hair to Wigs 4 Kids for as long as I can. I would also recommend those who are not able to donate their hair to consider making a monetary donation to Wigs 4 Kids or volunteering their time to this great organization.
Those who know of a child in need of the organization’s services can contact Varney at 586-772-6656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the story at the Voice, click the link: http://www.voicenews.com/life/richmond-mom-donates-hair-to-wigs-kids/article_b31f8453-8ab6-539a-a48f-478754be65ac.html