Children With Hair Loss is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides human hair replacements at no cost to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss. When a child's hair is lost due to Cancer treatments, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, Burns, etc., the painful effects are far deeper than just cosmetic. Each year, the number of children requesting our hair replacements increases and with your support, we can continue to increase the number of children we are able to help in the future!
Did You Know?
A customized human hair replacement system and care kit for a child with hair loss can cost up to $5000! Here at CWHL, everything a child receives is FREE, and recipients are eligible to to receive a new hair replacement once a year until age 21!
Until Age 21
Regina Villemure, a former cosmetology instructor, hairstylist and hair replacement specialist with a master certification with the American Hair Loss Council, brings years of hair industry experience to Children With Hair Loss.
Regina founded CWHL after her niece, Sarah, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age three. Sarah underwent chemotherapy for five years, and is now a survivor of more than 30 years.
Throughout Sarah's treatments, Regina saw many children in the hospital who had lost their hair or who were wearing adult-sized synthetic wigs. With her hair industry experience, Regina knew that human hair replacements look the most natural on children, but also that they are very expensive. She realized that most families were unable to afford them, and she wanted to help! She immediately made it her mission to "Cover Young Heads to Heal Young Hearts."™
CWHL opened in September 2000. After researching, we didn’t find any other organizations that were giving human hair replacements to children at no cost. CWHL’s mission and goals were to never charge a family at a time when they need the most help. After years of intense fund raising, CWHL was able to purchase their first building in 2005. The headquarters resides in South Rockwood, Michigan in an old renovated fire station. Originally, CWHL’s focus was on children fighting cancer, until we found out that there were a lot of other reasons why children lost hair including Alopecia, burns, Trichotillomania and other rare diseases and disorders. To this day, Children With Hair Loss has never charged a child. Currently, we provide a customized human hair replacement and care kit to over 300 children a year!
Sarah During Chemo
Regina’s niece, Sarah, is the original inspiration of the charity, Children With Hair Loss. When Sarah was just 3 years old, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphblastic Leukemia. She spent many of her young days in the hospital, during which she went through several chemotherapy treatments. As a result, she eventually lost her hair. Her aunt, Regina often accompanied her to hospital visits and treatments. This gave Regina a first-hand view of Sarah, and other children undergoing radiation treatments who had no hair, or who were wearing ill-fitting, adult-sized, second-hand wigs. Regina was a hairdresser by trade, and she searched for a high-quality, human hair wig that Sarah, and other kids would feel good about wearing. She was unable to find any in the market, or any charities that would provide them for free. It was at that time, sitting with Sarah in the hospital, that Regina saw the need to start a charity that would provide free, quality, human hair replacements for children who had lost their hair due to medical reasons. Sarah is now in her thirties and is the mother of three beautiful children of her own. Throughout her life, Sarah has watched Children With Hair Loss grow from just an idea, into a large-scale national charity, and she has continued to be a proud and steadfast advocate for the charity.
CEO / Founder
Mikayla Marcero – CWHL Ambassador
When Mikayla was 7 years old, she lost all of her hair out of the blue within a three-day period. Her parents took her to the hospital, and after many tests and doctor visits, she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder known as Alopecia. At the time, she was too young to know exactly what was going on, but it didn’t take long for her to realize how different she was, particularly because of how she was treated at school. Her first year with Alopecia was a rough one, as she was constantly teased and bullied at school simply because she looked different.
Mikayla and her family were introduced to Regina Villemure and her charity, Children With Hair Loss, and Mikayla got her first free human hair replacement. She says that in that moment, everything changed in her life, and that she regained a confidence and hope that she never thought would be a possibility!
Some inspiring words from Mikayla…..
“Living with Alopecia, I've been through many highs and lows, but I'm learning more than ever before and becoming stronger each day. I'm now so proud to be working full time at CWHL as an Ambassador and as Liaison for their Recipients. I'm so thankful for this organization and how they've helped me get through some of the toughest times in my life. I'm excited for this new platform where I can support and connect with other kids that are experiencing hair loss and facing many of the struggles I went through. I hope to offer words of advice, knowledge, and encouragement throughout their journeys!”
Mikayla Marcero in the News...
When Mikayla Marcero was 7 years old, her doctor diagnosed her with Alopecia Areata, a skin disorder affecting over 6.6 million people in the United States.
Mikayla, who was in second grade at the time and became completely bald, went from worrying about what kind of snack her mom was going to pack for lunch to what the bullies were going to do to her at school.
"I was on the bus one day and there was a kid that decided to pull off my bandana and throw it to the back of the bus and I was so scared I didn't know what to do. They looked at me like I was a freak", says Mikayla.
Mikayla was introduced to the founder of Children with Hair Loss, a local nonprofit providing human hair replacements to children at no cost.
They gave Mikayla a customized wig just before her first communion.
"There was a boy there that said, 'She is just the most beautiful girl.' It really lifted my spirit and made me feel like a girl again," says Mikayla.
The wig from Children with Hair Loss had such a profound effect on Mikayla, she was able to regain her confidence and get through those tough years in school when kids are often judged by their appearance.
The 21 year-old is now the ambassador for Children with Hair Loss and helps countless other kids dealing with the devastating problem.
"I am able to speak [to], and educate, and represent all these kids that have the same things as I do or cancer", says Mikayla. She says she eventually wants to work for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee so she can help kids struggling with losing their hair, full time, but she'll probably have a tough time getting the folks at Children with Hair Loss to let her go.
Article by Amy Andrews
“To anyone who is struggling with their self-image, or just needs a reminder, I encourage you to be yourself and know that you are beautiful just as you are. Children With Hair Loss has changed my life, and I know they can do the same for you.” – Mikayla Marcero