Fifty one ponytails were donated and 38 heads shaved at a charity event organised by the English School on Thursday.
Students, parents and graduates of the English School were invited to donate hair and register as bone marrow donors at the premises.
Organised by the school’s ‘We care we help’ club, the event was in support of the Karaiskakio Foundation, an internationally recognised Bone Marrow Donors Registry for patients with haematological malignancies and other related diseases.
The organising committee was comprised of three teachers at the school. One of them, Eva Polyviou, told the Cyprus Mail:
“The girls donate at least 20cm of their hair, and the boys shave their heads,” she said. “The shaving of the head is more symbolic.”
Those who don’t give hair can give a donation. There was also the opportunity to register as a bone marrow donor for those aged 18 and over. Those registered left a DNA sample on the spot.
“The event is open to all,” Polyviou explained, “but mainly for members of our school community.”
“It is the first time we have this type of event,” she added, “but we have done others before. For example, we have renovated houses for poor families and are planning to renovate three more where children who have cancer live in April.”
Twelve hairdressers from Toni & Guy did the cutting and shaving from 9am until 1.30pm, while Kiss FM supplied upbeat music, and Swiss Cottage brought the snacks and drinks.
“We were very excited to work with the English school to support this great cause,” a Toni & Guy franchisee Barbara Yiallouri said.
“The hair is given to make wigs for the Karaiskaio foundation,” student Stephanie Kalli explained. “You can also sponsor someone else if you don’t have hair to give, or buy a supportive bracelet.”
Evdokia Kakouta, 17, is one of those whose hair is now 20 cm shorter. “It is a really moving and rewarding experience,” she said. “Everyone, especially young people our age should donate a part of themselves so they become aware of the problems that exist.”
The Karaiskakio foundation was initially established for the purpose of organising a volunteer bone marrow donor registry, but is also helping leukaemia patients in other ways.