CWHL was founded in 2000 by Regina Villemure after her niece, Sarah, was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia at age 3. After spending five years in and out of Children’s Hospital in Detroit while Sarah was receiving chemotherapy, Regina was exposed to many children who were losing, or had lost their hair, and had, as a result, low self-esteem.
Regina (a hairdresser, salon owner and cosmetologist by trade), researched hair-donation organizations around the country to find one that provided human hair replacements to children at no cost, with no success. She then made it her mission to build CWHL in order to provide free annual hair replacements to children with medically-related hair loss until they no longer need them, or until they reach age 21. CWHL is committed to never charging a family at a time when they need help the most.
“I’ve been fortunate enough through our work at CWHL to be able to experience the most heartwarming feelings of helping children overcome a huge obstacle to their happiness,” said Regina. “At a time when many children need to channel their full energy into healing, the last thing they should be worried about is their looks and their hair loss, but it’s a reality. I’ve seen kids go from being afraid of being bullied at school and having low self-esteem, to gaining confidence and completely turning their lives around. When you turn a child towards a mirror so they can see their new hair for the first time, you see their smile return and you actually witness life coming back to their eyes. It’s absolutely amazing.”
Regina was recently honored by WJR Radio in Detroit, as one of 12 outstanding “Women Who Lead,” a program designed to recognize women throughout the Great Lakes region who are positively influencing the community. She was interviewed by Ann Thomas, Executive Producer of WJR’s Paul W. Smith Show and Host of Women Who Lead. Regina is also invited to participate in WJR’s special broadcast of the Paul W. Smith show & breakfast this September, which will celebrate “Women Who Lead.”
CWHL relies heavily on volunteers to facilitate operations, organize events and to manage the hair donation process. CWHL graciously accepts hair donations of 8-inches or longer, either braided or in a ponytail.
When a child receives their hair replacement, it is accompanied by a hair care kit of products (shampoo, conditioner, serum, thermal spray, hair spray, a face-framer, a drying stand, etc.) at no cost. A large base of volunteer licensed hairdressers & barbers in salons across the country assist CWHL by providing free cutting & styling services to children who receive hair replacements in their areas.
Each child’s complete customized human hair replacement package can cost up to $5,000. Through CWHL, the entire package is provided to them at no cost.
With its nationwide network of partners, CWHL has the capacity to provide free customized human hair replacements to thousands of children annually, with the proper funding for manufacturing costs. In a concerted effort to do so, CWHL is actively seeking sponsorships and strong partnerships.
“It’s so amazing – the feeling that you have inside. Your heart feels so full because you’re truly making a difference in a child’s life. They’re our future – we need to take care of them now.” - Regina Villemure
Additional information about CWHL can be found at http://www.childrenwithhairloss.us; www.facebook.com/
About Children With Hair Loss (CWHL):
Children With Hair Loss (CWHL) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides annual customized human hair replacements and styling services, at no cost, to children with medically-related hair loss until they reach age 21. The goal of CWHL is to empower as many children as possible, by increasing their self-confidence and renewing their self-esteem, which are often lost with the loss of hair. CWHL operates entirely on revenues generated from tax-deductible donations, fundraisers and grants. CWHL is also dedicated to raising awareness of the emotional and psychological effects in children, after hair loss takes place. Additional information about CWHL is available at http://www.childrenwithhairloss.us.