Sisters help out with a ponytail or two

WHEN Calwell sisters Sara and Lyndell Svoboda decided to chop off their long locks, just as many young girls do, they were initially only thinking about their new look. 

But it didn’t take their mum Marg Hazell long to decide the girls could do something useful with the discarded ponytails and donate it to make wigs for cancer sufferers.

So the girls became part of the Beautiful Lengths program, which encourages women to grow, cut and donate their hair to be turned into real-hair wigs for women undergoing cancer treatment.

The idea started when haircare company Pantene did a study that showed 90 per cent of Australian women would be prepared to cut and donate their hair to help a friend with cancer.

In partnership with the charity Look Good…Feel Better – a free national community service program dedicated to teaching cancer patients techniques to help restore their appearance during chemotherapy and radiotherapy – Pantene is funding the creation of real-hair wigs by helping women grow beautiful hair to donate to the program. These wigs will be distributed across Australia at no cost to cancer patients.

Lyndell, 9, cut her hair after her big sister did and says she doesn’t miss her long ponytail at all.

“It makes me feel happy that I’m doing something good,” she says.

Sara, 13, agrees that it feels pretty good to help someone.

“I like my new haircut much better than my old one, so I’ll keep it short,” she says.

Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed before the age of 85. Many people are aware of the physical and emotional devastation caused by the disease, and over half of Australian women will either be affected by cancer themselves or have a female friend or family member who is affected by cancer.

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