Making a bald statement for young cancer patients

Property agent Toh Yi Qin (right) and his cousin Chua Ching Chong, before and after shaving their heads at Hair for Hope yesterday.
Property agent Toh Yi Qin (right) and his cousin Chua Ching Chong, before and after shaving their heads at Hair for Hope yesterday.ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN
Property agent Toh Yi Qin (right) and his cousin Chua Ching Chong, before and after shaving their heads at Hair for Hope yesterday.
Property agent Toh Yi Qin (right) and his cousin Chua Ching Chong, before and after shaving their heads at Hair for Hope yesterday.ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN

Property agent Toh Yi Qin first shaved his head in 2012, after his grandfather was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

His grandfather, who was in his late 80s, died the following year.

In memory of him and in support of young cancer patients, Mr Toh, 34, decided to continue taking part in the hair-shaving event, Hair for Hope, every year.

The signature event by the Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF) aims to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. Said Mr Toh: "It's never easy to go bald due to the nature of my sales job as a property agent, where my appearance matters. But the cause is worth it."

He also inspired his cousin Chua Ching Chong, 45, to join in 2013 and the latter roped in three of his friends over the years.

Yesterday, the cousins joined 400 others in shaving their heads at the Hair for Hope event kick-off at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery. The main event - now in its 16th year - will be on July 28 and 29 at VivoCity. The CCF hopes to have at least 6,500 participants and raise $3.6 million this year.

Mr Chua said: "Every time someone asks me about why I shave, I tell them about (Hair for Hope) and that anyone can take part. There's nothing to be afraid of as we are shaving for a good cause."

Tan Tam Mei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'Making a bald statement for young cancer patients'. Print Edition | Subscribe