Participants getting their heads shaved for Jom Botak 2.0.
WHEN we talk about someone’s ‘crowning glory’, we often refer to the hair. To part with it would be difficult.
But that is what a group of individuals have done in support of cancer patients at the Jom Botak 2.0 — Bald for Cancer event held at the Watersports Complex, Precinct 6, Putrajaya last Saturday.
The event was organised for the second time by the National Cancer Council Malaysia (Makna), in conjunction with its 20th anniversary.
It was also part of the line-up of activities leading up to the Makna Founder’s Night Run 2014 (MFNR).
Jom Botak 2.0, however, failed in its attempt to break its 2012 record in theMalaysia Book of Records with 367 shaven heads under the ‘Most Shaved Heads in a Day’ category.
Dance coach Liew Mee Peng (right) showing what’s left of her waist-length hair as a pledge to support some of her students who are battling cancer.
Only 167 individuals braved the rain and muddy field to have their heads shaved, as a symbolic gesture of cancer patients losing their hair during chemotherapy treatment.
The shaves were provided free of charge by A Cut Above Academy.
First-time participant Nurhidayah Zainal,31, said she learnt of the event through Facebook.
“My friend’s child is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and battling for his life. I want to show her family my support,” said Nurhidayah, a store manager who travelled from Shah Alam with her friends to participate in the event.
“My family doesn’t know yet, so it will come as a surprise,” she said.
Nurhidayah shaved her head in support of her friend’s child who is suffering from cancer. Hidayah said it was her first time participating and that it would be a surprise for her family and friends.
For Liew Mee Peng, parting with her waist-length hair was nothing compared to the pledge she had made with her students and friends, some of whom are battling cancer.
“As a dance coach, my job is to motivate and encourage others. I have seen some of my students who have suffered cancer and are traumatised as to whether they will ever be the same again, even after treatment,” said Liew.
“For those who have undergone chemotherapy or lost a lot of weight as a result of cancer, I know it is not easy to look in the mirror. Which is why I promised my friends that if I can do this, they should come back and join my dance classes,” she said.
“Sadly, we still live in a society that judges based on appearances. I want to raise awareness among the public that we should look beyond that,” said Liew, adding that she has pledged to keep herself shaved for a year.
Returning for the event for the second time was sales executive See Choon Wai.
See joined the first Jom Botak event and has returned to show his support and to donate for a good cause.
“Although I do not have close family or friends suffering from cancer, I am aware of how difficult it must be for both the patient and their loved ones,” said See, 35.
Later that night, more than 5,000 runners participated in the MFNR 2014.
A group of cancer patients and survivors also took part in the run, which was divided into 5km, 10km and 15km respectively.
Makna president Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin said, “We are extremely proud that Makna has grown up into a ‘young adult’ after struggling and coping for so many years, trying our best to sustain our services and provide consistent and meaningful assistance to the cancer community and the Malaysian public for the past 20 years.
“I envisioned the establishment of a non-profit organisation of this kind after my family’s own experience confronting my late son’s own struggles with leukemia.
“We are indeed grateful to the strong support from everyone,” he said.