We know that not all heros wear capes, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that not all heros are all grown up. This is an interview with one little girl who doesn’t wear a cape but is a hero in every sense of the word.
Only at the tender age of 12, her heart is full of pure kindness and selflessness that absolutely wows us and strongly brings back our faith in humanity. We’re talking about Malak Youssef, Radwa Moussa-Youssef’s daughter, and how she grew out her hair on purpose only to donate it to cancer survivors.
As you might know from Radwa Moussa’s published book زين, that Malak is a cancer sibling as her brother Zain was diagnosed with cancer at a really young age. While his story is one that needs to be told (hence the published book that we enthusiastically recommend), we’re here to shed light on the story of the brave heart of his sister. Cancer doesn’t just affect the inflicted, it affects everyone they know as well.
We interviewed this fierce little lady and asked her about why and how she donated her hair to a charity that helps cancer survivors who lost their hair in the battle to feel like they have their life back even if that means starting with a head full of hair.
Why Were You Growing Out Your Hair for the past 2 years?
Because I wanted to donate it to children who have lost their hair while fighting cancer. I wanted to help them any way I could. Seeing as how cancer can make their hair all fall out, it made me sad to think that I can have all this hair and they don’t. So I decided to grow out my hair to give it to them.
When Did You Decide to Donate Your Hair?
In a book I was reading I got the idea that I can grow my hair out and donate it to those who need it most. Being a cancer sibling, it was cancer survivors whom I thought of first.
Why Specifically Cancer patients? Why This Cause?
Well, because it’s a cause that’s close to my heart. My brother was dignosed with cancer and I was there when he so bravely fought it. I always felt like I wanted to do more to help. I know that by donating my hair to cancer patients, I’ll be helping someone who was just like my brother.
What Do You Think Other Children Can Do to help?
They could stay positive for their siblings or those they know fighting cancer. I used to make colorful cheerful banners and hang them up in the house for my brother to see when he gets back from his Chemotherapy sessions. They could help other kids with cancer or other diseases that lead to them losing their hair by showing up and playing with them. They could visit them and help them pass the time by sharing their toys and making them smile.
Why Did You Grow It for Two and a Half Years Specifically?
Because it needed to be at least 12 inches long for me to able to donate it. It took me that long to grow out my hair the length needed to donate.
During This Time, Were You Taking Care of Your Hair?
Yes, I was washing my hair almost every day. Protecting it from any damage like too much sun or any chemicals. I didn’t use any chemical products on my hair and made sure it was always clean and healthy the entire time.
Does Your Hair Have to Be in a Certain Condition in Order for You to Donate It?
It has to be healthy and not shorter than 12 inches for me to be able to donate it. It can’t be dyed in any way, so it has to be its natural color. It also can’t be permed or have any chemical treatment done to it like Keratin or Protein treatments.
What Did You Feel Seeing Your Long Hair Cut?
At first, I was a bit shocked honestly. Then I was really happy. I felt great because this is just hair, It will grow back. I reminded myself that I am blessed to have hair that I know can grow back and I shouldn’t be upset about it being short at all. That’s because other children don’t have hair at all, and I am grateful to be able to give them some of mine when I can.
Do You Think You’d Do It Again?
Yes! Definitely, I would do it again, it felt amazing when I donated my hair because I know I made someone happy. It was a beautiful feeling to know you caused someone to smile and change their life for the better in any way.
After interviewing Malak, we spoke with Radwa Moussa herself and she told us that even though Malak donated to a charity in the U.S there is a way we can do the same here in Egypt. There is a charity called CAN-Survive that you can contact about donating hair to here in Egypt. We’re grateful to have Malak willing to tell us about her brave choice of helping cancer survivors and we wanted her to know she touched our hearts and inspired us all to give more to those who need it.