Hear My Story: Mdm Thangavelu Latha, CCF Caregiver
When the doctor delivered the bad news to her, Mdm Latha was devastated beyond words. Her 12-year-old son, Ron*, had been diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. “I thought to myself – surely, this was it for him. There is no life after cancer.”
She recalled that a few months prior to the diagnosis, Ron had complained to her about difficulty in breathing, lethargy and a painful back, but she had brushed it off thinking that he wanted to get out of school or was just lazy. “I knew and observed for a while, but I did not take action until one day when he could not even carry his school bag because his back hurt so much,” says Mdm Latha. That was when she realised that his back was swelling and he required immediate medical attention.
Thankfully, Ron’s cancer was detected early. “When the doctor told me that my son had Stage One Sarcoma, I became hopeful that he could recover from this ordeal. Like the mother monkey in the jungle, I will keep my child in my line of sight always and carry him on my back when he is tired. I will do whatever I can to get my son well again.” Ron’s treatment included a surgery and 14 cycles of chemotherapy. Mdm Latha was with him at every step of the way.
As Ron associates beauty with hair, he became increasingly affected that his hair was falling in patches after chemotherapy. Although he knew what was to become of his mane eventually, he was insistent on not shaving and wanted to retain every strand for as long as he could. To encourage Ron, Mdm Latha decided to surprise him one day by shaving her own waist-length locks, together with her husband. Needless to say, Ron got very upset. “He did not want anyone else to have to look ugly, especially if it was because of him. But it worked – he agreed to shave his head right after!” chuckles Mdm Latha.
Helming the Hair for Hope 2021 campaign as CCF’s caregiver ambassador, Mdm Latha is shaving for the third consecutive year. In fact, she had been conscientiously maintaining a bald look ever since her first shave so that Ron does not feel alone in his treatment journey. Her pixie crop hairstyle was the longest it had ever been in the past year and was kept that way so she could shave it off for this campaign.
“I shave to support my son’s road to recovery, and I want him to know that we can all still look beautiful even without our hair,” says Mdm Latha.
Make a donation here to support Mdm Latha’s shaving today.
*Not his full name
Photos were taken before COVID-19