Henna initiative helps cancer patients cope

The program sees volunteer artists drawing temporary henna crowns on the patients’ bald heads

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Henna Heals, a humanitarian initiative launched by volunteers in the Canadian city of Toronto, aims to empower women who have lost their hair as a result of chemotherapy.

According to its official website, Henna Heals is managed by committed volunteers that began as a team of five women. It has since grown to include a community of nearly 150 artists worldwide.

Al Arabiya visited the community’s headquarters where artists volunteer to draw temporary henna crowns on the patients’ bald heads to help them cope with losing their hair and fighting cancer.

Kim, a cancer patient in Canada, said losing her hair as a result of chemotherapy added to her despair of suffering from cancer. However, she said the Henna Heals initiative has given her hope.

Francis Darwin, head of the volunteer group, said using henna helps patients cope with the pain of cancer treatment.

Healing the pain

“I found that using natural henna heals the pain that comes with the treatment process. Thanks to artists who volunteered, I’ve realized that drawing crowns on [patients’] heads may be a consolation for losing their hair,” Darwin said.

Two years ago, neither Darwin nor the community’s members thought they would achieve such a turnout. The community via its contacts on social networking websites aims to help as many patients as possible. The initiative is not limited to cancer patients as it also includes those suffering from HIV such as Ashley who visited the center with her mother to get a henna crown.

The community also organizes trips for cancer patients and tries to motivate them into believing that healing is possible by going about their lives.