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Coffee merchant's hair-raising efforts for cancer sufferers –

Let it grow, let it show, let it go – for a good cause.
Seeing the joy a natural wig brought a cancer sufferer, it dawned on a popular Wellington coffee proprietor that he could give more than fundraising.
Tomer Ben Shimol​ was about to have his long lustrous locks lopped off in the hope someone who’s lost theirs might benefit.
Ben Shimol owns The Mini Coffee Bar​ in Wellington and has set himself the goal of raising $10,000 for the Cancer Society.
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He’s also arranged to have his hair used for wigs for people who have lost their hair from cancer treatment.
“The idea of donating my hair to Freedom Wigs is in memory of a lovely customer of mine who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer earlier this year.
“The amount of happiness and freedom that the natural wig gave her made those last few months easier to get through. She was an absolute ray of sunshine.”
Ben Shimol said some of his fondest memories as a young kid were driving patients to their weekly treatments in Christchurch with his great-uncle Ross.
“He always had time to help others, and made sure to always volunteer his time when he could, doing everything from street collection to fundraising and of course driving patients to and from their appointments.”
The Wellington businessman was intending to hold a head shave event for everyone to come and watch, but he said due to Covid-19 restrictions he was going to do it at the shop and post the video.
Information nurse Naena Chhima​ of Cancer Society Wellington said for some patients a realistic wig was of great support. The Government provided a $400 grant towards wigs if they were needed, she said.
“It means a lot to some people. Some are quite happy with a bald head and some will just use beanies and hats and scarves and things like that.
“But for the majority of people who are working or socialising, a wig is so important.”
Dunedin-based Freedom Wigs is the only manufacturer of natural human hair wigs in New Zealand and that was where Ben Shimol’s clean hair would be sent.
You can help him get to his goal by donating at
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