Finding Hope in Hair

Four years ago, Elie Ben- Zekre underwent aggressive treatment for Lymphoma. During one of his chemotherapy sessions, he turned his attention to the young woman next to him who was crying incessantly. He asked if there was anything he could do to help. She responded: "The pain of the treatment is not as hard to handle as the pain of loosing my hair."

These words spurred Eli, a hairdresser with 25 years of experience, to come to her rescue. Elie went out and found a wig that he cut and styled and presented to the young woman. This time when they met, she was beaming and smiling back at him. What Elie saw in that smile was hope, a will to continue and a new found purpose for his life’s work.

With the help of Dr. Shlomit Peeri, the social worker at the Davidoff Center and with the enthusiastic endorsement of Professor Dan Oppenheim, CEO of Rabin Medical Center, Elie opened the first salon, and the only one of its kind in Israel. The 30 sq. meters of space is decked out with every modern amenity and hair product available, all supplied by donation. Elie, who is still recovering, dedicates his time voluntarily to run the salon. Two thousand women have come through his door, and he has met with every one of them to meet their needs and to share his own struggle and victory over cancer. His wigs and his empathy give these women hope, friendship and a new beginning.

If you are interested in contributing towards Elie’s efforts or finding out more information about his work please contact us via email.

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