French minister donates hair for cancer wigs
France’s gender equality minister Marlène Schiappa has donated her hair to a charity that makes wigs for women with cancer and has encouraged other women to do the same.
Schiappa, 35, posted on Facebook: “When a woman suffers from cancer, the bill increases fast and goes well beyond medical care… for example, for those who lose their hair with treatment and don’t always have the means to buy a wig if they want it.
“It’s very simple,” Schiappa said, “just cut at least 25cm to make one or more bunches and send them off in the mail.”
Schiappa and others were marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month last month.
Some charities in countries also accept coloured, white or grey hair, she added.
She said was reluctant to go public with her donation but wished “to make this initiative known to all those who can and want to contribute”.
Schiappa said she was inspired by her sister, who donates her hair every two years.
“We send all our positive thoughts of solidarity to brave women who face cancer right now,” the minister said.
An estimated 18.1 million cancer cases will be diagnosed globally this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer estimated in September.
Despite being home to just 9 per cent of the world’s population, Europe is due to account for 23.4 per cent of new cases and 20.3 per cent of cancer deaths, said the agency.
French President Emmanuel Macron, with an eye to next May’s European parliamentary elections, has warned that Europe faces a return to the 1930s because of the spread of a nationalist “leprosy”.
Europe also risked losing its sovereignty if it was “pushed around by foreign powers”, the centrist leader added.
“I am struck by similarities between the times we live in and those of between the two world wars,” he told Ouest-France.
“In a Europe divided by fears, the return of nationalism, the consequences of economic crisis, one sees almost systematically everything that marked Europe between the end of the First World War and the 1929 crisis,” Macron said.
“You must bear that in mind, be clear-headed and know how to fight back,” he added.
Macron has criticised other European Union member states for abandoning democratic principles.
Hungary and Poland have nationalist governments that have clashed with the European Commission, while Austria and Italy have far-right parties in their governing coalitions.
Marlène Schiappa before donating her hair. Picture credit: Wikimedia