Courtenay hair salon helps Victoria woman honour her mom’s memory

Sue bishop raised roughly $150 for a charity that assists underprivileged children suffering from medical hair loss.

With the assistance of a Courtenay hair salon

With the assistance of a Courtenay hair salon

With the assistance of a Courtenay hair salon, Victoria resident Sue Bishop recently donated her hair to support sick children who have lost theirs.She raised roughly $150 for Locks of Love, a charity that assists underprivileged Canadian and American children suffering from medical hair loss. Locks of Love helps young people develop a sense of normalcy and self-esteem by providing them with high-quality wigs they couldn’t otherwise afford.Bishop had the Velvet Underground salon chop 10 inches off her lengthy locks before dying the remainder red. The project is inspired by — and a tribute to — Bishop’s mother, Shirley Gagnon, who passed away 19 years ago after battling breast cancer.  Gagnon began wearing a wig after losing her hair to chemotherapy, and Bishop hopes to share similar comforts with the children Locks of Love helps.Only 15 when her 42-year-old mother died, Bishop nevertheless remembers her mother as an incredibly loving individual.“She was the best mom in the world,” Bishop recalls. “All my friends called her mom.”Gagnon frequently volunteered and attended “every school event” of Bishop’s childhood; Bishop is certain Gagnon would endorse Locks of Love’s mission.“She would do anything to help other people,” says Bishop, “so “donating my hair feels good. It’s something to give back.” This is not the first tribute Bishop has made in her mother’s memory. she previously donated hair to the Canadian Cancer Society, and fully intends to continue growing, cutting and donating her hair in her mother’s name – each year, if she can.Although Bishop initially struggled to find a donor in Victoria, Velvet Underground donated a cut and colour once Bishop’s mother-in-law put her in touch with the local business.Owner Vicki Weber, whose daughter is legally blind, says that while the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) is Velvet Underground’s charity of choice (they’ve held several fundraisers in its support), the salon is “open to working with anyone.” Many of Vicki’s clients have battled cancer, and Velvet Underground supports those who shave or cut their hair for charitable causes.“I was very nervous and anxious for days before,” says Bishop, “but Vicki did an amazing job, as I hear she always does.”To get in touch with Velvet Underground, drop by their salon at 101-254 Simms Lane, call 250-897-1800, or check their website at www.velvetundergroundhair.ca.

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